By Jim Boyce
Last year, China’s Helan Qing Xue rocked and shocked, stirred and shook, the wine world when its Jia Bei Lan firs took a regional trophy, and then took an international one, at the Decanter World Wine awards. This year? The achievements of the Middle Kingdom are more modest.
The lone gold medal went to Chateau Reifeng-Auzias, for its Cabernet 2010, a surprise to me since I haven’t heard industry buzz about this producer and since I haven’t had very much good wine from Shandong. It also received a silver for its 2010 Syrah. More on Reifeng-Auzias here.
The Decanter regional awards recognized some 17 wines from the following nine operations:
Domaine Helan Mountain
Lei Ren Shou
For a list of wines, see the images below.
By the way:
- I tried a bottle of “Farsight” wine — see under Saint Louis Ding — at a Revue du Vin tasting earlier this year. We were told it retailed for just under rmb4000 (~500 euros). That’s a lot! It would be nice to see the prices listed with the wines to provide some context.
- I have tried wine from Lei Ren Shou a few times this year and think it among the better ones coming out of Ningxia. The bottles I tried cost ~rmb320.
- For those wondering if the “Sonata” series listed for Grace actually refers to its “Symphony series”, it doesn’t. CEO Judy Leissner says Sonata is a new red wine, with only 3,000 bottles produced this year. Grace saw four of its wines gain recognition: two are listed under “Grace Vineyard” and two under “Shanxi Grace Vineyard”.
- Finally, it sounds like a substantial portion of the wines entered win some kind of recognition. According to Decanter’s site, 92 percent of New Zealand, 89 percent of British, 83 percent of Turkish, 77 percent of Slovenian, 72 percent of Greek and 63 percent of Croatian wines received awards. I’ve contacted Decanter to see what percent of the wines entered from China received recognition.
The only gold went to Chateau Reifeng-Auzias, for its Cabernet 2010, a surprise to me because I haven’t heard anyone in the wine industry talking about that operation and because I haven’t had much good wine from Shandong. And it also picked up a silver, and for a syrah, no less. More on that operation here.
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