By Jim Boyce
Last year I organized a contest called North by Northwest and included a bottle of Helan Mountain Dry Red 2008 in a flight of six Chinese wines priced under rmb150. That flightincluded wines by Grace Vineyard from Shanxi, 1421 from Xinjiang and Hansen from Inner Mongolia. The Helan Mountain Dry Red was easily the cheapest bottle as I picked it up for rmb29.8 at a Jenny Lou’s shop one night earlier in case I was short a wine for the contest.
The overall winner of that flight was another wine from Ningxia-based Helan Mountain — the pricier “Classic” Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 — but the Dry Red made the “top three” of nearly every one of the 14 judges, who were split between journalists, chefs / bartenders and wine industry professionals.
More than a year later, I still see this wine about Beijing for rmb29.8 — most recently at the Jenny Lou’s shops in Central Park and on Xindong Road — and recommend it as a low-risk option for anyone who wants to try some Chinese wine.
For more details on the North by Northwest Challenge, see here.