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By Jim Boyce
Ningxia again dominated the annual wine awards held by the China edition of magazine La Revue du Vin de France. The year’s top wine personality, wine maker and winery all hail from this area in north-central China (see below for details). Three out of the top five highest-scoring wines, as determined during a tasting of 103 bottles in April, also hailed from Ningxia. This year’s tasting panel, led by Olivier Poels from RVF headquarters in France, gave the following wines a score of 14 points out of 20 points:
- Chateau Nine Peaks Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Shandong (rmb208)
- Domaine Helan Mountain ‘Xiao Feng’ Cabernet-Merlot 2010, Ningxia (rmb980)
- Grace Vineyard ‘Sonata’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Marsellan 2010, Shanxia (rmb390)
- Helan Qing Xue ‘Jia Bei Lan’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Gernischt and Merlot 2010, Ningxia (rmb380)
- Silver Heights “Emma’s Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Gernischt 2009, Ningxia (rmb1180, magnum)
Those are all pretty tasty wines though some of the prices are hard to swallow.
Other major 2013 awards from RVF China:
- Wine region of the year: The eastern Helan Mountain area in Ningxia
- Wine personality of the year: Hao Ling Hai in Ningxia, who has helped to develop the region’s wine industry
- Winery of the year: Domaine Helan Mountain in Ningxia, the Pernod Ricard-owned operation in the area
- Wine maker of the year: Zhang Jing of Helan Qing Xue in Ningxia
- Most influential winery: Grace Vineyard in Shanxi
- Best winery design: Treaty Port in Shandong, which is essentially a replica of a Scottish castle
- Up-and-coming brand: Chateau Nine Peaks of Qingdao Great River Hill Winery in Shandong
Get details on the awards and the top 44 wines in the June issue of RVF China. The magazine’s China website is here.
By the way, I tried a few dozen of the wineries from this year’s contest both in April, a day after the judging, and yesterday at a launch event by RVF China, and will post more about these soon.