Grape Wall Challenge: Top ten red wines in China under RMB100

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On March 13, a dozen expert and consumer judges met in Beijing for the Grape Wall Challenge and tasted 23 red wines that retail for less than RMB100 in China (see gallery). The experts rated each out of 20 points, while the consumers had four choices – “love it“, “like it“, “dislike it” or “hate it“. The wines were from France (6), Chile (5), Argentina (4), South Africa (3), Australia (2), the United States (1), Spain (1), and Italy (1). Cedar Creek Shiraz (Australia), distributed by Top Cellar, took top honors.

Here are “top tens” of the expert panel, the consumer panel, and the combined panel.

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EXPERT PANEL: Top 10 Red Wines

1

Cedar Creek (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon) 2008, Australia / Top Cellar, RMB92

2

Callia Alta (Shiraz, Malbec) 2007, Argentina / Torres, RMB72

3

Santa Carolina (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2007, Chile / Aussino, RMB98

4

Las Condes (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2008, Chile / EMW, RMB86

5 (tie)

Leopard’s Leap: The Lookout (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cinsault) 2006, South Africa / Aussino, RMB95

Concha y Toro Frontera (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2008, Chile / Summergate, RMB79

7

Michel Torino (Malbec) 2007, Argentina / Palette, RMB98

8

Domaine du Landeyran AOC St. Chinian (Grenache, Syrah) 2005, France / BJ Winestore, RMB85

9

Foot of Africa (Pinotage) 2006, South Africa / Torres, RMB99

Catena “Retamo” (Bonarda, Malbec) 2007, Argentina / Summergate, RMB89

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CONSUMER PANEL: Top 10 Red Wines

1

Foot of Africa (Pinotage) 2006, South Africa / Torres, RMB99

Paso del Sol (Merlot) 2007, Chile / DT Asia, RMB95

3 (tie)

Callia Alta (Shiraz, Malbec) 2007, Argentina / Torres, RMB72

4 (tie)

Trapiche (Pinot Noir) 2007, Argentina / Links, RMB95

Domaine du Landeyran AOC St.Chinian (Grenache, Syrah) 2005, France / BJ Winestore, RMB85

Senorio de Alange (Tempranillo) 2005, Spain / Palette, RMB79

Concha y Toro Frontera (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2008, Chile / Summergate, RMB79

Cedar Creek (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon) 2008, Australia / Top Cellar, RMB92

Michel Torino (Malbec) 2007, Argentina / Palette, RMB98

10 (tie)

Rutherglen Estate Big Red (Shiraz Durif) 2006, Australia / Gelipu, RMB89

Domaine de Sarret (Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah), non-vintage, France / DCT, RMB83

Santa Carolina (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2007, Chile / Aussino, RMB98

Chateau St. Pierre (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2007, United States / ASC, RMB74

Catena “Retamo” (Bonarda, Malbec) 2007, Argentina / Summergate, RMB89

Leopard’s Leap: The Lookout (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cinsault) 2006, South Africa / Aussino, RMB95

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COMBINED PANELS: Overall Top Ten Red Wines

1

Cedar Creek (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon) 2008, Australia / Top Cellar, RMB92

2

Callia Alta (Shiraz, Malbec) 2007, Argentina / Torres, RMB72

3

Foot of Africa (Pinotage) 2006, South Africa / Torres, RMB99

4

Paso del Sol (Merlot) 2007, Chile / DT Asia, RMB95

5

Concha y Toro Frontera (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2008, Chile / Summergate, RMB79

6

Michel Torino (Malbec) 2007, Argentina / Palette, RMB98

7

Domaine du Landeyran AOC St.Chinian (Grenache, Syrah) 2005, France / BJ Winestore, RMB85

8

Santa Carolina (Cabernet Sauvignon) 2007, Chile / Aussino, RMB98

9

Senorio de Alange (Tempranillo) 2005, Spain / Palette, RMB79

10

Leopard’s Leap: The Lookout (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cinsault) 2006, South Africa / Aussino, RMB95

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See also:

7 Comments on Grape Wall Challenge: Top ten red wines in China under RMB100

  1. Right, i’m off to buy some wines. Seems to me this is a great chance for me to taste and compare.

    Thanks for organising this. It saves me the choice of having to work through the dizzying array of bottles at my local stop.

  2. Beijing Daze // March 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm //

    interesting results! I’m really surprised Torres didn’t enter their Sangre de Toro in the contest. I expected that to be their “fer de lance”

  3. Congrats with a successful Grape Wall of China Wine Challenge and a fruitful conclusion. Was discussing with Brian Yeo and so far the comments had been very fruitful and drooling.

    I trust this is going to be on an annual or regular basis going forward?

    Looking forward to reading more about your wines and articles on your site.

    Cheers,
    Daniel
    Jiuwine.com

  4. It’s gotta be said – not one Chinese wine could be found worthy of a less-than-100RMB challenge?

    Is this a statement on Chinese wine, or a statement on having to pay well for Chinese wine worth drinking?

  5. nick mackie // March 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm //

    If you want to try wine from a very good Chinese vineyard and producer, try the range by Grace Vineyard of Shanxi.
    This includes wine at “under 100 RMB” – but also treat yourself to “Deep Blue” or one that I think is called “Chairman’s Choice”…or something like that!
    I’ve spent a couple of days at the vineyard and the winery and was impressed.
    No bulk wine or bulk grapes !
    All wine from own controlled vineyards.

  6. @ Ryan,

    Re: “…. not one Chinese wine could be found worthy of a less-than-100RMB challenge? Is this a statement on Chinese wine, or a statement on having to pay well for Chinese wine worth drinking?”

    None of the above: We asked importers to submit wines and rare is the company with a Chinese brand in its portfolio (Torres, with Grace Vineyard, ranks among the exceptions). Thus, no surprise that we didn’t have any Chinese wine. In any case, we plan to hold a second challenge, focused on Chinese boutique wines, in a few months.

    Cheers, Jim

  7. Thanks for this list. I’ll take it with me next time to China. While in Beijing last February I could not find wine by Grace Vineyard. May be I did not look hard enough. But it also says that it is not readily available to the average Chinese wine drinker. I wait eagerly for tasting results of Chinese wine.

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