Heavy medals: Nine China wines recognized at 2012 International Wine Challenge

By Jim Boyce

Given how much I have written over the past year about the Decanter World Wine Awards, it seems high time to look at how Chinese wines are doing in other competitions around the world, starting with the 2012 International Wine Challenge. This year’s IWC saw nine wines from producers based in China receive some form of recognition.

The highest was a silver medal by Glory Red 2009 from Junding, an operation that is based in Shandong province and has investment from COFCO, which owns the wine brand Great Wall.

One surprise: The list prices for the wines, including the Junding. It is listed at 6 pounds / rmb60, which is far lower than when I tasted at rmb1099 in 2008. Then again, that was an early vintage. Perhaps the prices have dropped or there is a new series. In any case, if anyone can get me a few bottles at rmb60, much appreciated!

Also of note is Chateau Reifeng-Ausizas Cabernet 2010: While Decanter gave it a gold, it fared less well in the IWC, where it received a “commendation“. Its sibling, the Syrah 2010 did better by taking a bronze.

Here is a list of wines producers based in China and their levels of recognition. Note that the medal colors equate to scores out of 100 points, with gold at 95-100 points, silver at 90-94 points, bronze at 85-89 points and “commended”at 80-84 points.

Junding Glory Red Wine, 2009 (£6.00)

Great Wall Chateau Huaxia Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine, 2009 (£15.00)
Domaine Helan Mountain Special Reserve Merlot 2010
Domaine Helan Mountain Special Reserve Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Reifeng-Auzias Syrah 2010

Greatwall Terroir Reserve Red Wine, 2008 (£8.50)
Greatwall Terroir Superior Selection Red Wine, 2008 (£4.50)
Greatwall Huaxia Vineyard Cru A Red Wine, 2007 (£9.00)
Chateau Reifeng-Auzias Cabernet 2010

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