By Jim Boyce
The Friday night tasting (RMB100) at Sequoia CafÃ© in Sanlitun two weeks ago featured Chilean wines from Terra Mater. We worked our way through a Chardonnay, Merlot, Sangiovese and Zinfandel-Shiraz and two Sauvignon Blanc. My favorites were the Terra Mater Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (dry grass and crisp fruits on the nose, and a juicy body, though some found it too acidic) and Zinfandel–Shiraz 2005 (an 85-15 percent blend with a rich fruity – plum – nose, though the body came off as weaker than expected). Both wines cost RMB143 per bottle.
Other tasters liked the Reserve Sangiovese 2006 (ample fruit and a nice mouth feel, but it smelled a bit rubbery to me). Terra Mater wines are distributed by DT Asia.
Later that night I checked into the second anniversary of Cellar Le Pinot, a tightly designed and decently stocked wine shop near the Hyatt Hotel.
Some two dozens were available for tasting (RMB50) and the shop offered a 20 percent discount on all wines.
I bought two Chinese wines I have not seen before: a bottle of “Night” by Suntime (Xinjiang) and a bottle of “Vintage” wine, which I believe is an export-only brand using grapes from Xinjiang (the back label was in French and Dutch). I’ll put these bottles into a future blind tasting.
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