Bubble rap: Devo is newest made-in-China sparkling wine

China’s wineries offer an ever-growing selection of styles, grape varieties and brands, and the sparkling wine niche is no exception.

While pet-nat is trending, due to producers like Lingering Clouds, Xiao Pu (Petit Garden) and Mountain Wave, we also see new players making bubbly the traditional way.

The newest is Devo, billing itself as China’s first independent producer of such wine and joining notable brands like Domaine Chandon (Ningxia), Grace Vineyard (Shanxi) and Chateau SunGod (Hebei).

Devo is in the north of the Yinchuan sub-region, in the Jin Shan / Gold Mountain area, near wineries like Chateau Mihope, Silver Heights and Yuan Run. Its vineyards feature Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

The project is headed by winemaker Jin Gang, a professor of food and wine at Ningxia University, while Zhang Xuan, active in the Yinchuan Wine Association, is making still red wines yet to reach market. The brand consultant is Stanley Yip.

Devo presented three bubblies—and Mimosas!—at the recent ProWine show in Beijing.

Those included a 2018 Blanc de Blancs, with 36 months aging on lees, and notes that cite lemon, honey, peach and bread. I enjoyed the bright acidity and hints of nuts, honey and white flowers.

MV01 is a dry sparkling wine, equal parts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with 18 months on lees. Smooth and balanced, this one offers nice stone fruit character, with hints of brioche and berries.

We can expect more players to join the traditional method game. Winemaker Zhang Jing at Helan Qing Xue, which is known for its elegant reds, currently has a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir bubbly in progress.

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