China wine | Picks from Grace, Kanaan, Silver Heights, Chandon & Tiansai

By Jim Boyce | China has a rising number of quality wine producers but sales often lag due to low visibility, high prices and poor distribution. Even in the Ningxia region, darling of the scene, finding the top labels is tough. Anyway, last weekend I made five wine recommendations for an article in China Daily, with a nod to producers that are relatively easy to find. In short:

  • Grace Vineyard (Shanxi & Ningxia): Wine from å…ƒ70, with my favorites the Tasya Reserve reds—Cabernet Franc, Aglianico et al (~å…ƒ190), and 2009 reserve sparkling wine (~å…ƒ290).
  • Kanaan (Ningxia): The Riesling and semi-sweet white blend (~å…ƒ150) are both worthy but the Pretty Pony Cabernet-Merlot (~å…ƒ295) is my top pick.
  • Silver Heights (Ningxia): Family Reserve Cabernet blend (~å…ƒ300) is best when decanted. If on a budget, try the red and white ‘Last Warrior’ blends (~å…ƒ140).
  • Chandon (Ningxia): These Champagne-method wines made by LVMH in Ningxia are good value (å…ƒ170).
  • Tiansai (Xinjiang): While my favorite reds, the Marselan and Cabernet Franc, are hard to find, the Chardonnays are higher volume (from ~å…ƒ170).

As also noted in the article, there are other options, including Helan Qing Xue and Legacy Peak in Ningxia, Hansen in Inner Mongolia, Chateau Nine Peaks in Shandong and Ao Yun in Yunnan. Here’s hoping distribution and pricing improve at more wineries so we can lengthen this list. Read the entire article here.

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