By Jim Boyce
Tasting wine in The Hidden City (photo: ASC)
Beijing consumers tasted their way through more than 100 wines from 22 producers as ASC held its Global Wine Extravaganza yesterday at 1949: The Hidden City. Representatives from the wineries, many of whom were in town after attending VinExpo in Hong Kong, did the pouring and chatted with consumers. ASC estimates that more than 300 people attended the event, which was moved indoors at 1949 due to the threat of rain. Despite it being a bit crowded and dim, the event had a nice vibe and the pours were substantial. This was the latest event to feature a good portion of a wine distributor’s portfolio at low cost (see these posts about tastings by Torres, Palette, Palette again, and GELIPU-Winelink).
Here are some of my notes on the wines, though I qualify them by stating that I didn’t make it to every winery’s table.
Joseph Phelps. It is always a treat to drink Insignia – especially as this Napa Valley wine costs ~RMB2400 per bottle – and the powerful black fruit-driven 2001 didn’t disappoint. I also liked the finishes on the other Phelps wines, including Innisfree Cabernet Sauvignon 2005.
Seghesio: The Sonoma Zinfandel 2006 and Old Vine Zinfandel 2005 offered lots of fruit and jamminess, with a hint of spice. These are good options for people seeking wine that offers a combination of smoothness and high alcohol (~15 percent).
Meerlust: I liked the constantly changing aroma of the Chardonnay 2006 (honey, citrus, and more). This is a wine I will try again.
Brown Brothers: The Chenin Blanc 2007 (citrus and melon aromas, sweetness in the body), Everton White 2006 (lots of juicy fruit), and heavily perfumed Moscato 2007 (nice grapefruit, almost soda-like, zip) are all good white wines for beginners. I noticed that many people liked the Orange Muscat & Flora 2007, thought I found it a bit sweet (think hints of Creamsicle).
I also liked the Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2007 and Barbera D’Asti ‘La Court” 2004 from Michele Chiarlo, the Reserva 2003 from Marques de Riscal, and the wines from Trimbach.
By the way, I was among several attendees NBC interviewed about halfway through the tasting. I hope my answers were coherent!
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