Symphony Series to Director’s Cut: Torres’ Taste of Nations event in Beijing

By Jim Boyce

Beijing witnessed one of its better annual liver-testing occasions about a week ago when Torres China held Taste of the Nations VI, an event that gave attendees access to a free flow of 180 wines from 14 countries for rmb228. As usual, the offerings went beyond entry-level fare to wines in the rmb250 to rmb500 range. Also as usual, it saw some end-of-day stragglers enjoying a few final gulps straight from the bottle. You stay classy, Beijing!

I spent most of the afternoon on the less crowded “new world” side and tasted 40 to 50 wines. These were a few of them:

  • Grace Vineyard ‘Symphony Series’ Muscat 2010, China (rmb178): The most striking of the five Chinese white wines on the day, this one was aromatic with zingy grapefruit and fresh peach up front and a dry mild finish. Ought to work with plenty of foods.
  • Silver Heights Family Reserve 2010 (rmb291), China: This 50-50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Gernischt was decanted and had blackcurrant and green pepper smells, a nice mouth feel throughout, and a slightly spicy finish.
  • Coppola Director’s Cut Zinfandel 2009, United States (rmb376): A juicy wine with wild dark ripe fruit and deep red licorice smells, thought it was lighter than I expected.
  • Marimar Estate Acero Chardonnay 2008, United States (rmb363): Fresh vanilla, nut and stone fruit smells, a lovely and round body, juicy and some spice at the finish.
  • Callia Syrah / Malbec 2011, Argentina (rmb83): Toasty, fruity, even jammy smells. Also lots of fruit in the body, maybe a bit too much, though this one is good value. I wish I’d tried the Callia Torrontes and the Salentein range from Chile, including the Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Pisano RPF 2008, Uruguay (rmb286): An initial sense of sweetness up front, with a smooth, bordering on silky, body. Nice tannins and a touch of oak spice. If you haven’t had a Uruguayan wine, try this one.

The “interesting” award goes to Tyrell’s Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz 2010, Australia (rmb344), which several of us found minty — someone also said “medicinal” — and might be that elusive wine to be drunk while chewing Wrigley’s Spearmint. Anyway, you can try Torres’ wines at the new Everwines shop on Xindong Road — if you want to drink on site, either on the patios or in the lounges, you simply pay a rmb50 service charge on top of the retail price.

Good content takes resources. If you find Grape Wall useful, please help cover its costs with a contribution via PayPal or WeChat. You can also find Grape Wall on Facebook. Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for the China wine newsletter below. And check out sibling sites World Marselan DayWorld Baijiu Day and Beijing Boyce.

Be the first to comment