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More than 300 wines available at the ST Wine Fair @ The Centrepoint

Mr Tan Wee Lee, managing director of Grape Palate, will showcase a special selection of wines at the ST Wine Fair@The Centrepoint.
Mr Tan Wee Lee, managing director of Grape Palate, will showcase a special selection of wines at the ST Wine Fair@The Centrepoint.ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

Wine distributor Tan Wee Lee searched for the Elizabeth Semillon after he had a taste of it

It was an Australian white wine Mr Tan Wee Lee could not forget from the time he tasted it, and the wine distributor knew he had to get his hands on it.

His search for the wine led him to one of Australia's top wineries, which then appointed him as its sole distributor here.

Mr Tan, 43, the managing director of Grape Palate, will sell the wine at the ST Wine Fair@The Centrepoint, which opens tomorrow and runs till next Sunday.

The Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2015 is highly rated at JH95 by Australia's most respected wine critic James Halliday, who also named Mount Pleasant the 2017 Winery of the Year with a maximum rating of five red stars - given only to wineries which regularly produce wines of exemplary quality.

The winery is located in Hunter Valley, Australia's oldest wine region known for producing the country's best Semillon.

Mr Tan, who actually prefers red wine, was captivated from his first taste of the Elizabeth Semillon three years ago.

He says: "It caught my attention as it has a depth of character and flavour that you cannot find in other white wines. This is a wine that can pair easily with food like chilli crab, dim sum or tempura."

  • Best whisky gifts

  • This year's ST Wine Fair@The Centrepoint includes a showcase of whiskies by Luxglove, an online marketplace for premium products. Pick up specially packaged whisky gift sets available for this season only.

    The Dalmore 12 years

    ST Wine Fair price: $150 Comes as a gift set which includes two Dalmore whisky glasses.

    The 12 Days Of Christmas Gift Set 

    ST Wine Fair price: $1,700 Get 12 bottles of whisky such as the Bowmore 12, Glenrothes 12 and Macallan 12 Double Cask.

  • ST WINE FAIR@ THE CENTREPOINT

    WHEN: Monday to Dec 3, 11am to 9pm

    WHERE: The Centrepoint, Level 1 Atrium, 176 Orchard Road

    INFO: Go to STwine.sg, e-mail STwine@sph.com.sg or call 6319-5076 (office hours)

Mr Tan bought two cases of the wine for his own collection.

"This is no ordinary white wine. Most white wines are usually enjoyed young and can be kept for three to five years at most. But the Elizabeth Semillon has an ageing potential that can go up to 20 years if it is stored properly," he says.

The ST Wine Fair@The Centrepoint will showcase a curated selection of more than 300 wines, both Old World and New World, from different wine-producing countries. Many of the wines are highly rated - at 90 points and above - by renowned wine critics. There will also be wines from organic vineyards like the Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling, which is rated JH96.

Mr Tan Ooi Boon, senior vice-president (business development) for The Straits Times, says: "We are proud to present our best picks for the year. And knowing that our readers love a good bargain, we also make sure all the good wines come with equally good prices. So don't miss out on the chance to have great wines for your parties this Christmas."

Participating wine merchants at the fair include Asia Wine Network, and Angra Wine & Spirits, which specialises in Italian wines.

Get highly limited quantity wines, such as the Terra Andina Suyai, an unusual Chilean red wine blended from four different grapes. Only three vintages of the wine - the 2005, 2007 and 2009 - were made.

The winemaker made the first vintage of 2005 in secret, without approval from the winery.

He named it Suyai, which in Chilean indigenous language means hope, as he hoped the wine could gain international recognition for Chilean wines. The 2007 vintage scored a high rating of RP93.

Mr Roderic Proniewski, 51, wine director of Asia Wine Network, bought 2,000 bottles of the Suyai 2007 in 2012. All were sold except for 200 bottles he reserved for his own collection. He will release 100 bottles for sale at the ST Wine Fair@The Centrepoint.

He says: "I am personally in love with this wine. It represents the passion of the winemaker and I hope this wine will inspire wine buyers at the fair to try wines from different wine regions."


Wines to look out for

FROM ANGRA WINE & SPIRITS 

Tenuta di Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino 2012 

Italy 

Rating: RP90 

ST Wine Fair price: $81 

Usual price: $89

Excellent choice as a gift or to keep in a collection. From one of the top 30 producers of Brunello di Montalcino, this wine is a perfect match for pies, roast ham or roast meats.

Zardetto Prosecco Extra Dry 

Italy 

ST Wine Fair price: $60 for two bottles

Usual price: $35 nett

Don't be put off by the term "Extra Dry". This prosecco is bursting with fruity flavours such as pear and apple and makes a lovely welcome drink for guests if you are throwing a dinner party. It also goes well with seafood barbecues.

FROM GRAPE PALATE 

Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2015 

Australia 

Rating: JH95 

ST Wine Fair price: $39 a bottle 

Usual price: $45

The balance and complexity of this full-bodied white wine will surprise even those who prefer reds. It pairs easily with spicy dishes like chilli crab, deep-fried seafood, chicken rice and char kway teow.

Frankland Isolation Ridge Shiraz 2011 

Australia

Rating: JH95, RP91 

ST Wine Fair price: $60 

Usual price: $70

Those new to wine will find this easy to drink, yet this shiraz has enough character to charm seasoned wine drinkers. Goes well with stir-fried beef cubes, roast pork, roast duck or barbecued meats.

FROM ASIA WINE NETWORK

Terra Andina Suyai Red Wine 2007 

Chile 

Rating: RP93 

ST Wine Fair: $75 

Usual price: $100

Fabulous with grilled pork and generally goes well with red meats and a variety of cheeses from mild to strong. It also holds its own with spicy food like mala hotpot.

Rutini Malbec 2014 

Argentina 

ST Wine Fair: $56

Usual price: $80

Steak lovers should give this wine a shot. Rutini is one of Argentina's most prestigious wine brands. This wine has an intensity which cuts through the fatty richness of a great steak and keeps your palate fresh. If you want to gift a wine that makes an impression, this is a good choice.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 26, 2017, with the headline 'Unforgettable white wine'. Print Edition | Subscribe