Taste test: Bolongbao and Le Champs D’or

Last Friday’s wine tasting at Sequoia Cafe here in Beijing was a bring-your-own-bottle affair. In addition to assorted bottles from France, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, there were two from China. Here are some notes:

Le Champs D’or: Le Vin Desert de Gobi, 2003

No varietal indicated, but it smelled like a typical Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a drinkable wine, though the body is a little bitter. “They tried to extract too much,” said winemaker Alain Leroux. “It was macerated for too long.” It was fairly light with some nice cherry and red plum. “It’s definitely drinkable, there are no major problems with it,” said one imbiber.

Chateau Bolongbao 2005

This Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot blend had a somewhat woody and syrupy medicinal nose. Some nice, tight fruit in this wine though the woodiness comes through on the tongue. “It’s got a heaviness, it would go with a big piece of meat,” said Paul A, adding “Hmmm, they put this one in oak, didn’t they?”Both wines weigh in at 12.5 percent.

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