By Jim Boyce | Silver HeightsÂ ranks amongÂ my favorite wineries but one knock against it has been price, with the Family Reserve typically about 300 yuan and the top-level The Summit between 450 yuan and 500 yuan. True, the portfolio has included wines priced about 100 yuan, but these wereÂ almost exclusively for the winery’s home region of Ningxia. So it’s good news that Silver Heights’ national distributor Torres is releasing a pair of wines much easier on the budget.
The white blend and red blend go by the nameÂ The Last Warrior, with the front label featuring a terrocotta warrior and the back one including patriotic language. They will retail for 158 yuan each, with a special introductory price of 128 yuan.
I got two samples from Everwines, retail arm of Torres, last week and showed the labels to lots of people with mixed reactionsâ€”everything from cool to crass. You can check out the labels below and decide for yourself!
Anyway, we had theÂ two wines withÂ Christmas dinner at Pop-Up Beijing on Sunday.
The white wine is a blend of near equal parts Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.Â The label says it has “an array of tropical fruit aromas with a crisp, dry and refreshing acidity”. People cited smells like lychee, pear and pineapple, but for me those first whiffs revealÂ thatÂ Sauvignon Blanc through a vegetal aroma.
Like most Silver Heights offerings, this wine is fairly restrained, with a nice balance of fruit and acidity, and a soft minerality andÂ slight spiciness at the finish. Take your time: we drank our bottle over 90 minutes and found the aromas constantly changing.
The red is a 60-40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that, says the label, “flaunts fresh, ripe aromas ofÂ darkÂ fruits with a lingering and smooth finish.” I can buyÂ that. Far more pungent than the white, it did, indeed, have lots of darkish fruit smells plus a slight smokiness. This one has lots of ripe fresh fruit, with dark berry flavors, a touch of earth and soft tannins from the oak. It was delicious with theÂ turkey and cranberry.
I’d happily drink both of these wines again. If you’re interested in giving them a try, they should soon be available at Everwines.
Sign up for the Grape Wall newsletter here. Follow Grape Wall on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And see my sibling sites World Marselan Day, World Baijiu Day and Beijing Boyce. Grape Wall has no advertisers, so if you find the content useful, please help cover the costs via PayPal, WeChat or Alipay. Contact Grape Wall via grapewallofchina (at) gmail.com.