Where is the love? Ningxia and Bordeaux wines the judges actually *liked*

Love -- or maybe like -- in the afternoon...


We asked the judges in this week’s Ningxia vs Bordeaux Challenge to rank ten wines from first to last in terms of quality (see results here). But as in the Grape Wall Challenge, we also asked them how much they liked or disliked each wine.

The judges had four options: “love it”, “like it”, “don’t like it” or “hate it”. This methodology seems to bother some wine industry people but I don’t care. As a consumer, I wanted to know the wines judges think are best made and the wines judges most enjoy.

More than half of the judges “liked” or “loved” the following wines (out of nine votes as one judge did not fill in this part):

8 votes: Silver Heights The Summit 2009 / 3 loves, 5 likes
8 votes: Helan Qing Xue Jia Bei Lan 2009 / 2 loves, 6 likes
7 votes: Grace Vineyard Chairman’s Reserve 2009 / 3 loves, 4 likes
7 votes: Silver Heights Family Reserve 2009 / 7 likes
6 votes: Grace Vineyard Deep Blue 2009 / 3 loves, 3 likes
5 votes: Barons de Rothschild Saga Medoc 2009  / 1 love, 4 likes
5 votes: Cordier Prestige Rouge 2008 / 5 likes

Kressmann Grande Réserve St-Émilion AOC 2008 and Mouton Cadet Reserve Medoc 2009 each received one “love”.

For even more love, here are some of the more positive comments on each wine. I have put the wines in order of pouring.

Kressmann Grande Réserve St-Émilion AOC 2008

“A classic Cab. Fruity”, “Simple Bordeaux style with touch of oak”, “Fruit, fresh acidity, medium body, long finish”

Helan Qing Xue Jia Bei Lan Cabernet Dry Red 2009

“Nice nose, nice tannins, good ‘woody’ taste”, “Rich fruits on the nose. Elegant. Licorice”, “Spicy, full-bodied, finish is long and intensive”, “Mushroom. Chocolate”

Silver Heights Family Reserve 2009

“Nice structure but high acidity”, “Deep ruby, full-bodied and powerful, medium length”, “Truffle. Violet. Strawberry cake. Plum”, “Cooked vegetable. Nice acidity. A little smoky”

Grace Vineyard Chairman’s Reserve 2009

“Nice ‘wood’, good balance, fresh taste”, “Spicy, full-bodied and balanced”, “Delicate, classic. Gooseberry aroma. Smooth with long length”, “Nice noise, ripe fruit, with vegetal [character]. Very supple”

Calvet Reserve De L’Estey Medoc 2009

“Well-done, balanced, with potential. Not too expressive at present”, “Not big or complicated but balanced”, “Sweeter tannin. Good fruit, long aftertaste.”

Mouton Cadet Reserve Medoc 2009

“Fruit, very well-balanced, nice finish”, “Incense and lavender. Nose is better than palate”, “Delicate smooth tannins”

Cordier Prestige Rouge 2008

“Some expression of character”, “The best aroma. Weak in the middle but good skill behind the wine”, “Tobacco, forest. A bit thinner and less structured”

Silver Heights The Summit 2009

“Nice fruit, good tannins”, “Beautiful mouth feel”, “Quite oaky, with vanilla, spice, chocolate. Could stay longer in the barrel”, “Cedar, smoky intense balsamic. Structured with a good finish”

Barons de Rothschild Saga Medoc 2009 (rmb350)

“The most classic: fruity and balanced”, “Elegant and fresh; long and balanced”, “Round fruit, high alcohol, oaky finish”

Grace Vineyard Deep Blue 2008

“Fruity and lovely to drink now with meat”, “Spicy with fresh acidity”, “Very aromatic. Cherry and flowers with a hint of oak”, “Complex and old-fashioned”

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