Fongyee’s Regional NZ Tour with Air New Zealand

(Above: Central Otago) Fongyee is currently in New Zealand in her role as consultant to Air New Zealand, choosing wines for the airline’s Asian routes. Click here to read more about her trip with US wine critic Linda Murphy.

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Torres’ Mas La Plana 45th Anniversary: Beijing Tasting

Edward Ragg Left: a Mas La Plana cake for the wine’s 45th Anniversary, Aria Restaurant, Beijing.   Right: Mas La Plana’s iconic black label and Burgundy-bottle shape.  Spanish winemaking dynasty Torres is this year celebrating the 45th Anniversary of its iconic Mas La Plana Cabernet Sauvignon. Miguel Torres Maczassek, current General Manager of Torres, recently came to Beijing to celebrate this milestone and offer a comparative tasting of select vintages of Mas La Plana (see below), including the very first vintage 1970, as well as showing other innovative Torres wines at a...

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The New Chile and Chile’s Challenges in Mainland China: Part 2

Edward Ragg   Our first stop was at Santa Carolina’s historic cellars whose origins date back to 1875, now comfortably within Santiago’s sprawling city limits. Santa Carolina has a justifiably established reputation for award-winning wines from its highly dependable Reserva Familia range to its iconic Herencia (predominantly Carmenère from the Peumo Valley). In China the Reserva Familia wines are around 280RMB, which represents strong value for money given the quality, with Herencia topping 1,500RMB.     Less well-known and a clear indicator of the ‘New Chile’, however, is...

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The New Chile and Chile’s Challenges in Mainland China: Part 1

Edward Ragg For many a wine lover, Chile conjures that long, thin country hemmed in by the cooling Pacific Ocean to the west and the towering Andes mountains to the east, responsible for some of the best-value wines available anywhere. The northerly Atacama desert represents Chile’s driest extreme – some vineyards in Elqui and Limarí have even been abandoned for lack of water – whilst Itata, Bío-Bío and Malleco form a humid, southerly border where only aromatic whites, Chardonnay and a splash of Pinot Noir are produced. (Source: Wines of Chile) But Chile’s vinous diversity has increasingly...

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A Range of Grange Part 5 (1955-2010): Tasting Notes, 21st Century Grange

        Edward Ragg, Beijing This is the fifth and final part of our Dragon Phoenix Feature on Penfolds’ Grange and presents tasting notes on select vintages from the current century. (Click here to read A Range of Grange Part 1: Penfold’s Iconic South Australian blend). Given the soaring rise in recognition Penfolds has attained in mainland China, it seems fitting to present at least one (non-Chinese) taster’s impressions of the wines, albeit in English. Chinese wine lovers do, at least, now have Andrew Caillard MW’s The Rewards of Patience (7th...

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