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Friday Bargains

Six Friday Big Reds
The Farmer and Parker Merchant Selections


I think the wine merchant can return but at the service of advanced customers who want the extra plus value.




Boldness in Winemaking Delivers Great Reward
Trial Bin 576 South Australia Cabernedro 2013 and 2016

Region: South Australia
Boldness will not come from dusting off old ways of winemaking or pretending to make natural wines but from rethinking how to get a good drink to the customer while lowering the price.
Today I release a brilliant effort from the winemaker Benjamin Parker which shows what is possible.
To a delightful base of 2013 South Australian Cabernet all from premium regions including the Barossa he has added a large chunk of 100% Barossa Valley Bonvedro 2016. The result is sensational as is the price of $65.
Boldness, directed where is should be, at the customer and without waffle.
We have been trialling ideas which lower prices for 18 months now, the Trial Bin Range, so you may drink better for less. We are not motivated as young turks are to be awarded ‘Young Gun Winemaker of the Year’ as we have ‘been there done that’. The real adventure is to rethink the whole world of wine from the ground up. Grab a box and see how we are going.

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Thicker Than Blood
Glug GH21 Single Barrel Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Region: South Australia
Each vintage we take in Cabernet grapes plus we purchase young wines from a few makers we like.

These are housed at the Samuel Road winery and later classified into grades and then woven into our many wines. Like all varieties as the Cabernets evolve in barrel a few stand out as far better and two of these, the best of the lot, have recently been bottled. I have fifteen cases from one of these barrels for offer as the GH21.

When we arrived in the Barossa Valley in 2004 we set up an office in the Rolf Binder winery and in tasting after tasting Rolf proved to me that Barossa Valley Cabernet was as great as Shiraz. Alas in the market place it is about as third as popular as Shiraz which demonstrates the distortion of marketing and thus customer perception. A pity but in this case it creates a bargain.

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Famous Heritage Barossa Now Shines
Glug 'The Heartbreaker' Barossa Valley Grenache 2016

Region: Barossa Valley, SA

The Glug credo is to buy great wine when it is offered cheaply. I add that developing your range of tastes in measured amounts is the correct way forward. Thus this recent creation from Benjamin allows you to go deeply into the joys of Barossa Grenache with little risks and genuine Barossa under $10 is a bargain.

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Fulfils a Dream
Glug GH22 Single Barrel Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Region: South Australia
I recall from the first discussions with Benjamin in 2003 this thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could present single barrels’ to customers.

Preserving the difference is a great concept but how do you achieve this in the real world. Sure, you can do anything for a marketing impact once but to regularly display to customers a cherished idea is another thing. Well we can now do this as Italians have made the equipment and we have the desire.

So this GH22 is the second of two barrels that Benjamin pulled from the 2016 vintage that were so special he wished them to be bottled to show customers the difference.

They have a big event in Coonawarra called the Barrel Series Wine Auction at which companies contribute a single barrel for sale. The prices often equate to over $50 a bottle when packed. It’s a great idea as is this initiative from Benjamin and this old wine merchant loves the value you get. Customers first is a good idea.

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Rare and Limited
Crayford Barossa Valley Graciano 2015

Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia

The Barossa Valley is positioned on the top rung with the other great Global wine regions. Some have cool climates, some have moderate climates and a rare few have warm climates like the Barossa Valley, all of which means the tastes will vary a lot, but above all it means that now and again perfection results.

The Barossa climate brings to perfection Shiraz, Mataro and Grenache and it follows that other varieties which make great wines in other warm climate regions across the Globe should also be tested.

It has taken time but now wines from varieties like Negro Amaro, Sangiovese, Graciano and Tempranillo are available. Dozens and likely hundreds more will be worth exploring. As often noted we buy good wine when it is offered regardless of variety or the difficulty of selling though at times our bravery weakens.

Customers of our Crayford wines know they are often adventurous varieties to which I say, surely that is what you want from on-line wine merchants who like to push boundaries. This Crayford is an exceptional wine made to delight.

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Amazing Red Begin Drinking at One PM.
Glug 'The Italian Job' Barossa Valley Montepulciano 2017


Region: Barossa Valley, SA

I have moved my view of this wine from ‘how interesting’ when first tried into the better category of ‘very good indeed’. Benjamin has been playing around with a batch of unusual Barossa varities in his endless quest to make interesting to great wines. The story I have been told is that Greg Liebelt went to a local winery to pick up some recent purchases which were in barrel.

He says that inadvertently he also hoisted two barrels of this fine Montepulciano onto the truck. Later noting the error they rang the winemaker who said for all the trouble he would sell one barrel, and thus this wine became known as the Italian job. It was duly bottled for the February tasting and not being around I had no idea of its existence till much later.

The variety is one of the dozen or so new plantings that are being adapted to the Barossa. I like the wine and while new things are hard to introduce I hope it has a future. Full flavoured but in that Italian way, so it does it for me for that late lunch.

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SA Reds Selections


Glug South Australian All Red Selection Series 2

Before late 2015 many of the experiments and special parcels made by the wine makers were blended away. Steadily through 2016 even tiny amounts were bottled and this process accelerated when we began our own in-house bottling from September, 2016. It is wines such as these which make up the South Australian Selections Series No 1. The winemakers place a great deal of effort into making what I call, kitchen reds, and this mix shows the results.

Contains 1 bottle each of the following wines:-

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Big Savings on Big Red Mix


Glug BIG RED Mix 18



Contains 1 bottle each of the following wines:-

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