Note: I reckon I’ve tasted over 500 different Chinese wines since I started to blog. I’ve often written about them in groups — such as here and here — but want to give more individual attention to the better and/or interesting ones via this China Wine Series.
Over the past two years, the Cabernet Gernischt 2011 by northwest Inner Mongolian winery Chateau Hansen has steadily grown on me. It is light-to-medium bodied and fruity — think cherry, raspberry, strawberry and yangmei — and stands as an attractive option between China’s typically anemic mass-market wines and its higher-end but more potent and heavily oaked ones. It’s simply a pleasant easy-to-drink drop I’d happily enjoy while sitting outside on nice afternoon.
Given how many of the better wines in China are priced at rmb500 and up, Chateau Hansen also offers value — you can find it in Beijing, for example, at Chez Julien on Lucky Street for rmb35 per glass or rmb140 per bottle. I also noticed some bottles stocked at wine shop The Loop last week. This wine is made by Bruno Paumard, who disputes the claim that Cabernet Gernischt is actually Carmenere, and has been distributed since last year by China Wines & Spirits.
By the way, if you seek affirmation from abroad, writer James Halliday of Australia — Hansen is listed there by Douglas Lamb Wines and Middle Eight Online — gave it 89 points and described it here as having “firm black and red berry fruits, balanced tannins, and little or no oak influence.”
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