By Jim Boyce
Not a few people outside this country have a negative view of Chinese wines whether they have tried them or not. Given this, a Chinese wine that scores “above average” on Robert Parker’s website might be seen as a victoryÂ for the local scene.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown reviewed 20 Chinese wines—13 from well-regarded family outfit Grace Vineyard, six from mega-producer Dynasty, and one from tiny outfit Silver Heights—on Parker’s site and scored nine of them between 80 points and 89 points and nine between 70 points and 79 points. Here is how those two ranges are described on the site (my highlights):
80-89: A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws.
70-79: An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.
The math is simple enough: Perrotti-Brown scored 18 of 20 Chinese wines as average or better. Those kind of figures don’t match my six years of tasting in China. Then again, Grace and Silver Heights are regarded as among the best in the country whereas I have been trying a lot of wines from less professional and/or dodgier makers.
Nor do they indicate value.Â The two top wines, Grace Chairman’s Reserve and Grace Deep Blue, respectively cost RMB488 and RMB288 (see here). Given that, I find the Grace Premium Chardonnay a better value at RMB118: it only scored 78 but tends to get good reviews both from my friends and from my acquaintances in the industry here. Each to his or her own, as they say. Here is Perrotti-Brown’s take…
|85||Grace Chairman’s Reserve 2008|
|83||Grace Deep Blue 2008|
|83||Grace Symphony Series 2008|
|82||Grace Chairman’s Reserve 2005|
|82||Silver Heights The Summit 2007|
|81||Dynasty Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006|
|81||Dynasty Premier Royal Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005|
|81||Dynasty Chardonnay Reserve 2006|
|80||Grace Tasya’s Reserve Cabernet Franc 2008|
|78||Dynasty Sparkling NV|
|78||Grace Premium Chardonnay 2008|
|78||Grace Tasya’s Reserve Chardonnay 2008|
|78||Grace Tasya’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008|
|77||Grace Chardonnay 2008|
|76||Grace Premium Chenin Blanc 2008|
|75||Dynasty Medium Dry White NV|
|75||Grace Tasya’s Reserve Merlot 2008|
|74||Dynasty Muscat Sparkling NV|
|69||Grace Premium Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2008|
|68||Grace Cabernet Sauvignon 2008|
(Hat tip to FISH)
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