Some info about the 2010 Grape Wall Challenge held at Maison Boulud in Beijing last Thursday…
The challenge included 40 wines, with 22 reds and 18 whites. Distributors could submit a maximum of two reds and two whites, with a maximum of two wines from one country. In the end, the challenge included wines from seven nations, with those from Chile representing nearly one-third of the total (the numbers in brackets are the red wine / wine white split).
- Chile: 13 (8/5)
- Australia: 7 (4/3)
- France: 7 (4/3)
- Argentina: 6 (3/3)
- Italy: 3 (1/2)d
- South Africa: 3 (1/2)
- Spain: 1 (1/0)
The Grape Wall Challenge involved 13 distributors, ranging from the biggest to niche operators. In alphabetical order: ASC, Aussino, CMP Wines, DT-Asia, East Meets West, Enoteca, French Wine Paradox, Globus, Links, Sea & Sun, Summergate, Top Cellar, and Torres.
We asked consumer judges to tick one of the following for each wine: “I love it“, “I like it“, “I don’t like it“, or “I hate it.” Overall, red wines faired better than white wines. For red wines, consumers ticked “I like it” and “I love it” 56 times, just edging out the 53 ticks for “I dislike” and “I hate it”. For white wines, they ticked “I like it” and “I love it” 40 times, falling short of the 49 ticks for “I dislike it” and “I hate it”.
The only wine to receive three “I love it” ticks in the challenge was Black Wing Shiraz from Australia (Sea & Sun, RMB87). Wines getting two “I love it” ticks included:
- Obikwa Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from South Africa (French Wine Paradox, RMB75)
- Callia Alta Chardonnay-Torrontes 2009 from Argentina (Torres, RMB83)
- Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from Chile (ASC, RMB87)
- Finca el Origen Malbec 2008 from Argentina (Aussino, RMB90)
- Double Bay Semillon-Chardonnay 2007 from Australia (Links, RMB95)
- Henri Ehrhart Pinot Blanc 2008 from France (CMP Wines, RMB99)
Only two wines of the 40 received “I like it” and “I love it” ticks from all consumer judges (every other wine had at least one “I dislike it” or “I hate it” tick). Those two whites: Obikwa Sauvignon Blanc and Henri Ehrhart Pinot Blanc.
We also asked the judges to rank their three favorite wines—gold, silver, and bronze—although not all chose to do so. Of the three consumers on the red wine panel who did, all picked the Black Wing Shiraz, with one gold and two bronze. No other red received more than one nod. As for the whites, four judges picked favorites. Double Bay Semillon-Chardonnay and Callia Alta Chardonnay-Torrontes dominated, each getting two golds.
That wraps it up for now. Look for a few more posts with information on the judges, the expert picks, event photos, and so on. For the results of the challenge or places where the wines are available, click here.
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