$300 Chinese Wine Arrives In America

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John D. Zuccarino
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#1 Post by John D. Zuccarino » January 5th, 2017, 8:08 am

$300 Chinese Wine Arrives In America

If you pay even casual attention to the wine world you’ll be aware that China has recently emerged as a major player – it's estimated consumption has been rising 15% annually – but most people, bemused by headlines of the fantastic auction prices big-name Bordeaux has fetched in Hong Kong, and amused by the often ludicrous attempts of counterfeiters to pass off Chateau Lafight and Chateau Lafete as the real thing, focus on China as a market for other country’s wines.
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#2 Post by Nate Simon » January 5th, 2017, 8:51 am

Easiest pass in all my years of wine buying.

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#3 Post by Victor Hong » January 5th, 2017, 9:03 am

The article writer is named Passmore. Perfect.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickpassmore/
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#4 Post by AndrewH » January 5th, 2017, 9:20 am

Nate Simon wrote:Easiest pass in all my years of wine buying.
Ambitious pricing for a first release, even if eventually it might warrant such prices. Seems better targeted to the Chinese luxury market - an ability for those who throw money around to throw it at a home-grown winery.
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#5 Post by Victor Hong » January 5th, 2017, 9:22 am

If you divide the wine among ten glasses of Coke, the price per serving can be possible to swallow.
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#6 Post by Mike Stoneking » January 5th, 2017, 9:33 am

Victor Hong wrote:The article writer is named Passmore. Perfect.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickpassmore/
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#7 Post by Joe B » January 5th, 2017, 9:34 am

I'm on the list.
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#8 Post by Anton D » January 5th, 2017, 9:52 am

I'll be watching their Berserker Day offering.
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#9 Post by KatrinaBI » January 5th, 2017, 9:59 am

Easy pass for me too.

But then, I don't buy Napa Cab either.

Beautiful picture of vineyard nestled amongst the Himalayan peaks. Description of the growing conditions was intriguing to me too: "high altitude and long growing season, and dramatic temperature inversion (as much as 30° Celsius) between day and night."

No reason why, with Moet-Hennessy level of investment, high end Chinese wine won't follow the lead/success of Napa.

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#10 Post by J Wei » January 5th, 2017, 11:00 am

Not sure the Chinese will buy. . . actually, I'd be surprised if any wealthy Chinese do in large quantities. The wealthy Chinese like to buy "foreign" things . . . not products made in their own country. Drinking French or Napa is a lot more "higher class" than a $300 cab made in their backyard.
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#11 Post by k s h i n » January 5th, 2017, 11:11 am

  • 2013 Ao Yun Cabernet Sauvignon - China (4/11/2016)
    Ao Yun wine launch dinner with Jean Guillame Prats (Marcel's Restaurant, Washington D.C.): Truly an ambitious and perhaps a bit crazy project of LVMH that is spearheaded by Jean-Guillaume Prats.

    http://www.decanter.com/wine-news/moet- ... -wine-765/

    90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, from the vines planted ten years ago. Bright red fruit driven nose, cherry and cranberry, a hint of green pepper vegetal, perhaps cumin, lead pencil and earth. One bottle showed medium concentration and the better bottle showed excellent concentration. The impression for me combines the nose of a very good non-classified left bank Bordeaux and a perfectly ripe high end Loire Cab Franc. It reminds Jean- Guillaume the bright red fruits of Pic Saint-Loup. It will be interesting to follow the projects as the vines mature.

    $280 US MSRP. (90 pts.)
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#12 Post by Victor Hong » January 5th, 2017, 11:11 am

J Wei wrote:Not sure the Chinese will buy. . . actually, I'd be surprised if any wealthy Chinese do in large quantities. The wealthy Chinese like to buy "foreign" things . . . not products made in their own country. Drinking French or Napa is a lot more "higher class" than a $300 cab made in their backyard.
Not to be confused with "high crass" Lefete.
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#13 Post by KatrinaBI » January 5th, 2017, 11:31 am

2014 vintage (the second) available at K and L....

2014 Ao Yun, China

"Proud Cloud" in Tibetan. This is the second vintage of this Bordeaux blend. Grown at 8000 feet in the Himalayas and only 50 miles from Burma. It is a nine-hour jeep drive from Shanri-La. The air is so thin that fermentation is quite an effort, but the wine is very good and exceptionally rare. (Clyde Beffa Jr, K&L Wine Merchants)

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#14 Post by Will P@yne » January 5th, 2017, 11:39 am

I've had it and we sell it where I work.

It's okay. Surprisingly well selling for what it is.

Easily the heaviest bottle I have ever handled. 750 feels like a magnum. It comes with an individual bamboo wooden box that seems to be a real selling point for the people buying it...

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#15 Post by BrianMarshall » January 5th, 2017, 11:41 am

My favorite line was this..

'It can take any amount of oxygen you can throw at it and remain unchanged. A half-drunk bottle tasted exactly the same 48 hours after opening as it had the first minute. I’ve never encountered such immutability in a table wine before.'

I don't know that this is a good thing.
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#16 Post by Nate Simon » January 5th, 2017, 12:05 pm

BrianMarshall wrote:My favorite line was this..

'It can take any amount of oxygen you can throw at it and remain unchanged. A half-drunk bottle tasted exactly the same 48 hours after opening as it had the first minute. I’ve never encountered such immutability in a table wine before.'

I don't know that this is a good thing.
The added melamine and trace amounts of strontium-90 effectively inhibit oxidation and microbial activity.

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#17 Post by Victor Hong » January 5th, 2017, 12:26 pm

Why try to make real wines, when they are earning so much money with fakes?
When a fake wine is bad, only the faked winery is blamed.
Now, when a real wine is bad, they themselves will be blamed.
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#18 Post by Anton D » January 5th, 2017, 12:35 pm

What price would make it so you would try it and see?

For me, around 90 bucks.
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#19 Post by John D. Zuccarino » January 5th, 2017, 12:51 pm

Anton D wrote:What price would make it so you would try it and see?

For me, around 90 bucks.
I have a different approach to this ... get a small group of wine geeks and everyone throw in $50 bucks and the six will have the bragging rights ... most of the very high end wines I try are most def with a few friends going in on the wine ... it just makes it fun and if it's really great, we add it to the list of quality producers... if she is far off the mark ,we move forward to the next best grape hope and this makes for very fun experiences ... so no I would not pay $300, but $50 I am in ...

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#20 Post by Marc Frontario » January 5th, 2017, 12:53 pm

If your not aware...None of the bottles contain any MSG and each order comes with a free fortune cookie.
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#21 Post by Victor Hong » January 5th, 2017, 12:55 pm

Fortune cookies are American.
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#22 Post by Jeff Leve » January 5th, 2017, 12:58 pm

Anton D wrote:What price would make it so you would try it and see?

For me, around 90 bucks.
Why? Because the wine is from a new area not familiar to you? Having actually tasted the wine, it is very good wine. Personally, I find the wine a bit pricey, the older I get, the less I want to spend per bottle. Price aside, it's a very nice, stylish wine. Realistically, Napa Valley was not all that much money until the mid to late 1990's. Today, people are used to the region being pricey, but that is really a fairly recent occurrence.

You can read details about Ao Yun and tasting notes if you like http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/win ... ion-today/

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#23 Post by CWun » January 5th, 2017, 1:09 pm

China has a bigger perception issue than Chile did, and the Chinese wine also costs more than the Don Melchor and Clos Apalta reserve bottlings.

I won't be a buyer, but mostly because of my budget and not the region/country.
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#24 Post by Anton D » January 5th, 2017, 1:23 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
Anton D wrote:What price would make it so you would try it and see?

For me, around 90 bucks.
Why? Because the wine is from a new area not familiar to you?
That's part of my price reasoning, of course!

I'd add that it's from a new area not familiar to just about everybody here.

No track record, at a price point that doesn't lend itself to me being made curious enough to want to jump in.

The back story in uncompelling. Do I look to the Chinese government as arbiters of fine plantings?

Someone mentioned this: "It can take any amount of oxygen you can throw at it and remain unchanged. A half-drunk bottle tasted exactly the same 48 hours after opening as it had the first minute. I’ve never encountered such immutability in a table wine before."

Add this: "Using luxury skills in combination with innovative creativity, risk-taking, all in a very bespoke way to create something new and unique.”

So, what value do I put on "luxury skills?"

I went with 90 bucks, not an inconsiderable amount for a new and unheralded wine.

Did my price point offend? I did not mean to. I am curious what price would make my fellow Berserkers take the leap.

Edited to add: Jeff! How much did you pay for it?
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#25 Post by Jeff Leve » January 5th, 2017, 1:41 pm

Anton D wrote:
Jeff Leve wrote:
Anton D wrote:What price would make it so you would try it and see?

For me, around 90 bucks.
Why? Because the wine is from a new area not familiar to you?
That's part of my price reasoning, of course!

I'd add that it's from a new area not familiar to just about everybody here. No track record, at a price point that doesn't lend itself to me being made curious enough to want to jump in.
That does not stop new Napa producers from selling wine at high prices, yet people buy them. Again, I find the wine pricey, but I am not their target audience.

The back story in uncompelling. Do I look to the Chinese government as arbiters of fine plantings?

No. But the people from LVMH, that own Cheval Blanc, Yquem, Krug, Dom etc are running things and they have a track record for making good wine and knowing good dirt.


I went with 90 bucks, not an inconsiderable amount for a new and unheralded wine.

I agree, that is a lot of money.

Did my price point offend? I did not mean to. I am curious what price would make my fellow Berserkers take the leap.

No dog in the race. I was just curious and bored today. I do find some of the comments here perhaps a bit xenophobic. Yours were not.

Edited to add: Jeff! How much did you pay for it?

I was presented a single bottle to sample. I wish I had another to present to people in a blend tasting. FWIW, there are very few wines today I want to spend $300 on. Those days are for me,mostly gone, unless the wine has a lot of bottle age and comes from a region I am already familiar with.

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#26 Post by John D. Zuccarino » January 5th, 2017, 2:22 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
Anton D wrote:What price would make it so you would try it and see?

For me, around 90 bucks.
Why? Because the wine is from a new area not familiar to you? Having actually tasted the wine, it is very good wine. Personally, I find the wine a bit pricey, the older I get, the less I want to spend per bottle. Price aside, it's a very nice, stylish wine. Realistically, Napa Valley was not all that much money until the mid to late 1990's. Today, people are used to the region being pricey, but that is really a fairly recent occurrence.

You can read details about Ao Yun and tasting notes if you like http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/win ... ion-today/

Jeff,


thanks for the link ... I would venture to say in 100 years the demographics of France will be so hostile to wine that China could very well fill the void, as the French diversify into China... they see the future too ...

Salute !!!
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#27 Post by Anton D » January 5th, 2017, 2:58 pm

As a bit of drift, if the wine works, China has set up a great area to develop into 'wine country' there, with a visually charming location and mythos!
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#28 Post by Arv R » January 5th, 2017, 4:55 pm

I remember getting some emails from TW on this a while back, offering discounts for those willing to take a case.

I don't even understand how the $100 South American wines get sold, let alone this.
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#29 Post by Dave McCloskey » January 6th, 2017, 8:05 am

Wine is made in all 50 United States, including the state in which I currently reside (Georgia)...

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#30 Post by Victor Hong » January 6th, 2017, 8:13 am

Dave McCloskey wrote:Wine is made in all 50 United States, including the state in which I currently reside (Georgia)...
Wine from everywhere may be made, but is it then drunk? [snort.gif]
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#31 Post by Dave McCloskey » January 6th, 2017, 8:15 am

Victor Hong wrote:
Dave McCloskey wrote:Wine is made in all 50 United States, including the state in which I currently reside (Georgia)...
Wine from everywhere may be made, but is it then drunk? [snort.gif]
or worth drinking! [wink.gif]

FWIW I go to the Georgia wine country once or twice a year... only 45 minute drive. It's beautiful and reminds me of the rolling hills of Bavaria. The wine is useful when I run out of Windex, but hey I'm willing to support these small businesses in the hopes one day some decent wine will be produced.

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#32 Post by CWun » January 6th, 2017, 8:31 am

Victor Hong wrote:
Dave McCloskey wrote:Wine is made in all 50 United States, including the state in which I currently reside (Georgia)...
Wine from everywhere may be made, but is it then drunk? [snort.gif]
then distilled to then make "grape" vodka or other spirits =)
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#33 Post by AndrewH » January 6th, 2017, 8:33 am

Anton D wrote: I went with 90 bucks, not an inconsiderable amount for a new and unheralded wine.
Considering that I buy very few bottles of wine that are >$90, and those are ones I know I have liked in the past, this to me seems like a reasonable maximum price at which I'd be willing to try. I'd be even more happy to throw down $15 for a glass to share a bottle with 5 Berserkers to spread the risk.
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#34 Post by Victor Hong » January 6th, 2017, 8:51 am

Dave McCloskey wrote:.....

FWIW I go to the Georgia wine country once or twice a year... only 45 minute drive. It's beautiful and reminds me of the rolling hills of Bavaria. The wine is useful when I run out of Windex, but hey I'm willing to support these small businesses in the hopes one day some decent wine will be produced.
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#35 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 6th, 2017, 5:03 pm

Dave McCloskey wrote:Wine is made in all 50 United States, including the state in which I currently reside (Georgia)...
I had a Three Sisters Vineyards Cynthiana that was quite decent, wish I remembered the vintage. Pretty little vineyard, the rest of the wine was not good at all. Popped in once during a cycling trip.

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#36 Post by Marc Frontario » January 6th, 2017, 5:52 pm

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:
Dave McCloskey wrote:Wine is made in all 50 United States, including the state in which I currently reside (Georgia)...
I had a Three Sisters Vineyards Cynthiana that was quite decent, wish I remembered the vintage. Pretty little vineyard, the rest of the wine was not good at all. Popped in once during a cycling trip.
Should I post the pic of u in the vineyard?
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#37 Post by Karl K » January 6th, 2017, 10:16 pm

John D. Zuccarino wrote:
Jeff,


thanks for the link ... I would venture to say in 100 years the demographics of France will be so hostile to wine that China could very well fill the void, as the French diversify into China... they see the future too ...

Salute !!!
Geez, what a dismal vision.

Perhaps not improbable, though.
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#38 Post by jason stein » January 7th, 2017, 2:10 am

Passing easily... Though I'd definitely consider it if it came with a complementary bottle of bordeaux [snort.gif]
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#39 Post by John Morris » January 7th, 2017, 3:39 pm

There were two prior threads on this, one in April, when the wine was presented in the US, and one in November when Arv R couldn't believe his eyes when he got an e-mail offering of this. The latter thread has a lot of additional information.
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#40 Post by Nick Ryan » January 8th, 2017, 8:51 pm

Arv R wrote:I remember getting some emails from TW on this a while back, offering discounts for those willing to take a case.

I don't even understand how the $100 South American wines get sold, let alone this.
Yeah. As tasty as South American Cab/Malbec/etc. is at the low end, they've not yet been able to make wine complex enough to stand with Bordeaux or Napa. Maybe it's impossible, or maybe it will take further decades to find the right land and develop the right techniques. It's not terribly plausible the Chinese have figured it out in much less time.
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#41 Post by James Billy » January 8th, 2017, 9:41 pm

Ao Yu is Chinese not Tibetan.

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#42 Post by PCLIN » January 9th, 2017, 12:33 am

James Billy wrote:Ao Yu is Chinese not Tibetan.
Yes, It's Chinese. Ao=Proud and Yun=Cloud.

No way I would pay $300 for that.
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#43 Post by A Ballin » January 9th, 2017, 2:45 am

Count me in as someone who has tried it and also purchased it.

The wine is very good, exceeded all expectations, and the story and hardships endured by the winemaking team are something else.

A fascinating, entrepreneurial wine.
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#44 Post by AndrewH » January 9th, 2017, 9:22 am

James Billy wrote:Ao Yu is Chinese not Tibetan.
Well, at least according to China, Tibet is Chinese as well . . . and Yunnan, the province where Ao Yun's vineyards are, is adjacent to Tibet and has heavy influence of Tibetan culture . . . but I digress.
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#45 Post by Chris Seiber » January 9th, 2017, 10:31 am

A Ballin wrote:Count me in as someone who has tried it and also purchased it.

The wine is very good, exceeded all expectations, and the story and hardships endured by the winemaking team are something else.

A fascinating, entrepreneurial wine.
You know you're really ballin' when you're out buying $300 bottles of Chinese Cabernet.

The question then becomes whether $300 is excessibe.

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#46 Post by AndrewH » January 9th, 2017, 11:21 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
The question then becomes whether $300 is excessibe.

[rofl.gif]
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#47 Post by Mark C » January 9th, 2017, 11:38 am

Anton D wrote:As a bit of drift, if the wine works, China has set up a great area to develop into 'wine country' there, with a visually charming location and mythos!
Yeah, those pesky Tibetan Buddhists won’t need the land anymore as they’re all moving away anyway. Maybe the new Chinese-chosen Dalai Lama will be a vintner…
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$300 Chinese Wine Arrives In America

#48 Post by James Billy » January 20th, 2017, 4:56 pm

AndrewH wrote:
James Billy wrote:Ao Yu is Chinese not Tibetan.
Well, at least according to China, Tibet is Chinese as well . . . and Yunnan, the province where Ao Yun's vineyards are, is adjacent to Tibet and has heavy influence of Tibetan culture . . . but I digress.
Chinese language as PCLN explains.

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Joe G a l e w s k i
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$300 Chinese Wine Arrives In America

#49 Post by Joe G a l e w s k i » January 20th, 2017, 6:03 pm

Arv R wrote:I remember getting some emails from TW on this a while back, offering discounts for those willing to take a case.

I don't even understand how the $100 South American wines get sold, let alone this.
I think Almaviva is worth $100. I don't want to pay that for it, but if you're tasting it next to classified Bordeaux, I would find it difficult to value it less than $100.

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Arv R
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$300 Chinese Wine Arrives In America

#50 Post by Arv R » August 4th, 2017, 8:39 am

It looks like K&L is blowing the 2013 Ao Yun out for prices in the $100 handles. They seem to have a lot. I guess LVMH didn't want to keep sitting on them. What happened to "luxury goods can only go up in value" doctrine?

Additionally I find the TW concierge email offerings to be simply embarrassing. Whoever sends those out ought to be professionally ashamed.
R_@_0

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