Suckling has issue a report on Chinese wines that he somehow emailed to me and it appears not to be behind a pay wall. Although the scores are a bit lower than what he normally gives out (there are wines under 95 points on his top 10 list), he still dished out a few 96s. Since I was supposed to travel to China in early March of last year (trip cancelled for obvious reasons), I was curious if anyone had any opinions on these wines:
You are buds with Suckling?
Does he really wear those silk scarves?
Suckling really hustles hard
Sounds like he’s cultivating a new market.
I haven’t tried any but wouldn’t mind trying some. Putting aside the Suckling 95pt silliness, I think there’s a real discussion to be had on Chinese wines.
I’ve always kinda brushed Chinese wines aside because historically it’s just been terrible. Obviously there’s the issue with counterfeit bottlings etc.
However in talking with friends/colleagues, there is serious effort being made in China to gain knowledge in grape growing, and wine making. I wouldn’t be surprised if the end result being wines that are at least ‘decent’ in quality on a global level, as well as potential for fairly steady growth in this quality for years to come.
‘How good is it’ becomes a matter of palate preference, and obviously driven by marketing, and it looks like both the production side and the sales & marketing side of the business is growing in the country. As much as the tippy top collectors will always be chasing bdx/burg/etc, the masses will certain support domestic products.
To be frank, it will take a lot for me to believe they are legit.
It appears that #2 on the list is a Rothschild product, but the price in the US is Mouton-like, so I do not expect to be tasting it soon.
Why buy real, when you can get fake for the same price?
We are not “buds,” but when we met at his Great Wines of Italy event at City Winery in Manhattan a few years ago, he was wearing a silk scarf. Although I find his scores to be silly, that particular event, which he organized, was OUTSTANDING and I would gladly go again. Many great wines to taste and I had a very nice long talk with Roberto Voerzio.
My read is that the articles and tasting notes are done by Zekun Shuai, an associate editor, not Suckling, from the byline at the end of the article. Am I misreading this? The only Chinese wines I ever had were from 30 years ago when I was working in Beijing. No bueno
Worth the price of admission right there!
Things change. Thirty years ago nobody drank Mexican or Israeli wines either.
Have had a bunch of Chinese wines, although none of them were in that list.
Some quite decent ones, many drinkable ones, seldom anything bad - just not particularly interesting and often ridiculously expensive for the style.
One Chardonnay was horrible, though. Couldn’t finish the small sample pour.
One of my co-workers is friends with the folks at Silver Heights and he gave me a bottle of their 2016 Cab/Merlot blend. I have been letting it sit in the cellar to get better integrated. The efforts there are real. I fully expect it to be a nice wine. I will have to wheedle some pinot out of him, now that I know it is being produced.
The Chinese wines I had in Hong Kong in 1981 were bad enough to wake the dead so that they would run away and hide.
There was a thread about that a few years back when it was launched. As I recall, the US price seemed to be intended mainly as something they could quote to the Chinese market.
Twenty years or so ago, someone brought a bottle of Chinese chardonnay made by an Australian winemaker to my brown-bag group. We tasted it blind and, darn, if it wasn’t decent entry-level wine. So I’m sure it’s possible. If they can make potable wine in Virginia and Texas, why not China?
I should add that the same guy brought a second bottle of the same wine six months later and it was lousy.
I’m sure they have the capability to make a decent wine. I don’t doubt that. Not to be political, but I just don’t have faith in what they do in general. Like would I feel wholly comfortable drinking their wine knowing all the environmental problems that they have? Probably not.
Picked up a bottle of Ao Yun in Hong Kong a few years ago. Keeping it in the cellar but am giving it another 6ish years. Have had a handful of other bottles from China. Ningxia is better than any other region.
Watched a docu on Prime on Chinese wines recently. Very entertaining and informative. Seems they are definitely on the upswing.