Chateau Changyu Moser has launched its first white wine – Helan Mountain 'white Cabernet' 2016 to go with the two estate reds that it brought into the UK last year through Bibendum.
'It elevates the Chinese game,' said Moser. 'China is quite new, but it’s here to stay. I wanted to do something that’ no-one has done in the past. We are the only ones doing this on a global basis.'
By his own admission, Moser 'needed a white for Europe' and since he had no Chardonnay or Grüner Veltliner had to make a virtue out of necessity.
'I was quite nervous,' he told Imbibe. 'I’ve only done [a white wine from red grapes] once before and that was because it was such a bad Cabernet vintage in Austria!'
The wine – made entirely from free-run juice – shows perfumed red-berry fruit on the nose, grapefruit zest through its restrained palate, and a dry, smoky finish. A total of 2,000 cases are available for the UK.
The 250 hectare estate is based in Ningxia, which Moser describes as 'China’s Napa Valley'. At 1,000m altitude and desert-levels of rainfall, it is an extreme continental climate, with -20C temperatures in winter, a short growing season, with maximum temperatures of only 34 degrees celsius. And Moser is convinced that his trademark Grüner Veltliner would be a good match for the region.
'I’m fighting for it with my last drop of blood. I’m utterly convinced that it will work there,' he told Imbibe.
The Helan Mountain white will be available from Bibendum from July onwards at £12.85 ex VAT.