Aussie wines in China: Moss Wood, Henschke, Hewitson, and more

Forget smelling "forest floor". I can see it. (laytons.uk.co)

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By Jim Boyce

Pudao Wines in Beijing held a free tasting of Australian wines on Saturday as writer Jeremy Oliver visited ahead of the launch of the upcoming Chinese-language edition of his Australian Wine Annual. The bottles were supplied by China-based distributors The Wine Republic, Torres and Summergate, with the latter closely tied to Pudao Wines. Alberto Fernandez, GM of Torres China, was on hand and said his company plans to open its first Everwines retail shop in Beijing early next year.

As for the wines, my favorite was Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2007: intense black fruit and oak, with a smooth body — I wrote “milky” for some reason — that punches above its weight. I also liked the Henschke ‘Innes Vineyard’ Pinot Gris 2008, with stone fruit, tropical fruit, melon and spice smells, though I picked up some diesel that reminded me of a Riesling.

More wines:

  • Yalumba Viognier 2010: highly aromatic; wanted to dab it behind someone’s ears.
  • d’Arenberg “Laughing Magpie” Shiraz-Viognier 2008: I wrote “a lurking spiced licorice intensity mixed with some forest floor.” Hmmm.
  • Grosset Gaia 2006: This one seemed to get dominated by some of the other reds…
  • Hewitson Old Garden Mouverde 2009: Several people picked this as the favorite.
  • Rockford Grenche-Mataro-Shiraz: big and ripe, with something sharp in there — more forest floor? A stick from that floor?
  • De Bortoli Pinot Noir 2007: funky but a bit tired. For some reason, this one made me hum the theme to Mod Squad…

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