Straight from the tasting room: Bibendum portfolio tastings

Chris Losh

Chris Losh

13 September 2016

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.

Château Changyu Moser
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.


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