Straight from the tasting room: Bibendum portfolio tastings

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Drinks: Drinks, Wines
Location: Asia, England, Spain

With autumn portfolio tastings in full swing, this week we checked out a range from Bibendum’s portfolio. Spotting a ‘game changing’ Chinese wine and a Spanish Malbec that gives the French a run for their money, take a look at the best of the (grape) bunch…

Chinese wine project ‘game changing’ says Moser
Lenz Moser has described his Château Changyu Moser XV 2015 wine as a ‘game changer’ for how the world will perceive the Chinese wine industry.

Bibendum

Château Changyu Moser

‘It was tough to make [the management]do it,’ says Moser. ‘The industry there tends to think that the money is at the top end. But sub £10 is going to make a huge difference to the Chinese wine industry. We need a broader awareness of Chinese wines.’

While there are a growing number of expensive estate red wines from China, they are often made in small quantities and usually expensive. But Chateau Changyu Moser makes 350,000 bottles of its basic Cabernet Sauvignon and the wine is available from Bibendum for £9.54.

‘Wines like this don’t exist in China,’ says Moser, ‘but others are going to follow our lead.’

Currently all three wines in the range are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, but Moser sees big potential for blending the French variety Marsalan into his basic wine. ‘There are just 10 hectares of the grape in Ningxia,’ he says, ‘but everyone is really excited by it. It can add a lovely softness to the structure of Cabernet, and it would help to set the region’s wines apart. I think we’ll see more of it.’

Mancha Malbec? It could happen…
If you thought that France was the only place in Europe to do anything with Malbec, then you’d better think again.

Bodegas Finca la Estecada, based in the vast La Mancha region, south of Madrid, has grand plans for the variety. Last year the winery made 40,000 bottles, which sold out at speed, and has plans to get production up to 100,000 bottles inside the next few years.

‘Our Malbec is different from the versions from Argentina,’ said export manager Cristina Saez, ‘it’s more red fruit and flowers, with a softer mouth-feel.’

Is it likely to form a strong competitor to big-name versions from Argentina? ‘Why not?’ says Saez. ‘The world is looking for different things from Spain apart from Rioja, and I don’t think anyone else has Malbec.’
Sadly, the UK will have to wait a while before making up its mind. Importer Bibendum doesn’t currently bring it in.

 

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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