Cheers – Chinese wine takes top honours

For the first time a Chinese wine has won top honours at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.

A 2009 Jia Bei Lan blend won the coveted Red Bordeaux Varietal award in London.

Jia Bei Lan is a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Gernischt, a grape used extensively in China.

Judges said the wine was “supple, graceful and ripe but not flashy”.

They praised its “excellent length and four-square tannins”.

Only 25 International trophies are awarded at the awards, chosen out of more than 12,000 wines entered.

Sarah Jane Evans, a master of wine and co-chair of the awards, said Chinese wine as “one to watch”.

Producer He Lan Qing Xue’s winning wine was tasted against regional trophy winners from Europe, Australia, South Africa, California and other premium regions specializing in Bordeaux blends.

Jia Bei Lan is produced in Ningxia province in Northern China, in quantities of about 20,000 bottles. It costs £13 a bottle.

Its winemaker Li Demei has consulted at the winery since 2006.

He trained in Bordeaux and did an internship at Chateau Palmer.













About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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