Lifestyle / Wines and Spirits

Chinese wines beat Bordeaux in blind tasting

A region of northern China that began growing grapes for fine wine just a decade ago has beaten the French wine-producing region of Bordeaux in a blind tasting. A group of wine experts ranked the bottles from the remote and sparsely populated Ningxia region above those from Bordeaux at the tasting, held in Beijing. The […]

Dec 15, 2011 | By AFPRelaxnews

Wine tasting judge Nicolas Carre

A region of northern China that began growing grapes for fine wine just a decade ago has beaten the French wine-producing region of Bordeaux in a blind tasting.

A group of wine experts ranked the bottles from the remote and sparsely populated Ningxia region above those from Bordeaux at the tasting, held in Beijing.

The jury sampled five wines from each region, selecting a cabernet sauvignon from the Grace Vineyard in Ningxia as the top-scoring bottle.

Wines from Ningxia took the four top slots in the contest and a 2009 Medoc from the Lafite vineyard in Bordeaux was the highest-scoring French wine, in fifth place.

All the wines in the contest were produced in 2008 or 2009, and all were priced between 200 and 400 yuan ($30-$60) in China — putting the Bordeaux at a disadvantage because China levies a punishing 48 percent import tax on wine.

Nonetheless, Bordeaux expert Nathalie Sibille said the Chinese wines had “performed very, very well”, adding, “this region (Ningxia) has enormous potential”.

China has enjoyed a huge wine-drinking boom in recent years and is now Bordeaux’s largest export client. Analysts have predicted it will overtake the United States to become the largest wine-consuming nation within 20 years.

Most of the wine made there is mass-produced and of low quality, but experts say there are now some good Chinese wines being produced — notably from Ningxia.

Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits arm of France’s LVMH luxury group, said this year it was planting its first Chinese vineyard in Ningxia to produce sparkling wine.

Grace Vineyard Chairman Reserve 2009 wine


 
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