December 2011

Double up: China Wine & Spirits acquires DT Asia

December 29, 2011 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce China Wines & Spirits (CWS) acquired fellow distributor DT Asia last month and while the news is a bit dated I thought I would post it anyway. From the press release: “[The move] reinforces CWS position on the market, with a larger and stronger portfolio of Icon brands such as Champagne Deutz, Delas Frères from Rhône, Domaine Schlumberger from Alsace, Rocca Delle Macie from Chianti Classico, Trapiche from Argentina, KWV from South Africa, Niepoort from Portugal and many others. “CWS Team is also becoming stronger and larger and we are happy to Welcome Francisco Henriques as our […]

Breathing room: China’s 1421 ‘traceable’ wine at Great Hall of The People

December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce When Randy Lee Svendsen recently asked me to join a group of 12 at the Great Hall of The People to talk about the wine brand 1421, I figured I would be at one of dozens of tables. I wasn’t. There was only that one table in that huge hall — “great” is not a misnomer to describe the room size. The brand 1421 was created by Hong Kong’s Johnny Chan, involved in the wine scene here for over a decade, and Chile’s Andronica Luksic. It bills itself as the first “traceable” wine in that you […]

Bull shifts: Modo in Beijing switches to all-Spain wine lineup

December 19, 2011 // 1 Comment

~ By Jim Boyce Beijing restaurant Modo has taken the bull by the horns and stuck an all-Spanish lineup into its two enomatic machines. Modo will rotate about 50 wines through the 16 slots over the next few months. To the best of my knowledge, this Sanlitun-based restaurant was the first to use cash card-based machines. I joined a group of samplers on Saturday night and tried about half of the wines. I liked the Emilio Moro Finca Resalso 2009, a medium-bodied slightly spicy wine with funky aromas and a ghetto edge — rmb9, rmb28 and rmb55 for 25ml, 75ml […]

Les vins Chinois meilleurs que Bordeaux?

December 18, 2011 // 8 Comments

~ By Nicolas Carre Depuis le jeudi 15 decembre, lendemain d’une dégustation banale, mais toute aussi sérieuse, organisée a Pékin, le consommateur s’interroge : « Les vins Chinois sont ils effectivement meilleurs que les Bordeaux ? ». La dégustation était co-organisée par le blog grapewallofchina dans le seul but de permettre aux consommateurs et amateurs de vins en Chine de choisir en toute connaissance de cause les meilleurs vins au prix de vente compris entre 250 et 400RMB. Ce n’est pas la première dégustation organisée par ce blog. Régulièrement, nous organisons ce genre de manifestation, et toujours dans un seul […]

Where is the love? Ningxia and Bordeaux wines the judges actually *liked*

December 16, 2011 // 1 Comment

~ We asked the judges in this week’s Ningxia vs Bordeaux Challenge to rank ten wines from first to last in terms of quality (see results here). But as in the Grape Wall Challenge, we also asked them how much they liked or disliked each wine. The judges had four options: “love it”, “like it”, “don’t like it” or “hate it”. This methodology seems to bother some wine industry people but I don’t care. As a consumer, I wanted to know the wines judges think are best made and the wines judges most enjoy. More than half of the judges […]

Was the Ningxia-Bordeaux Challenge unfair to French wines? Non

December 15, 2011 // 4 Comments

~ It depends on your perspective. Different wine contests are designed to discover different things. Our Grape Wall Challenge at Modo asked Chinese consumers to judge wines that retail for under rmb100 and to tell us what they liked. The more recent North by Northwest Challenge at Hilton Beijing asked three groups — wine experts, reporters, and chefs and bartenders — what they thought of 24 wines from wineries in regions such as Shanxi, Gansu and Xinjiang. Yesterday’s Ningxia vs Bordeaux Challenge, organized with TasteV at Zun Cellar, also had a purpose. It asked five Chinese and five French judges […]

Grace under pressure: Ningxia tops Bordeaux in Beijing wine challenge

December 14, 2011 // 40 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Chinese wines took the top four spots in the Ningxia vs Bordeaux Challenge held this afternoon in Beijing. The event featured ten wines — five from Ningxia and five from Bordeaux. They were blind-tasted by ten judges — five from China and five from France. I helped organize the event with website TasteV, wine club Zun, and fellow Grape Wall contributors. The judges were asked to rank the wines from first to tenth based on quality. First place was worth one point, second place worth two points, and so on. The wines with the lowest total […]

The Wine Republic to distribute Jia Bei Lan in China

December 13, 2011 // 3 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce China-based importer and distributor The Wine Republic has reached a deal to handle the brand Jia Bei Lan from Ningxia-based winery Helan Qing Xue, says company CEO Campbell Thompson. Demand has been growing for Jia Bei Lan, particularly for its 2009 vintage, after strong performances in several wine contests, including Decanter’s World Wine Awards. Helan Qing Xue is in the Ningxia region, just outside of the capital Yinchuan, and is a partnership between a local grape industry group and private investors. The operation is headed by Rong Jian, with Zhang Jing in charge of day-to-day wine […]

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