Kanaan Winery, Pretty Pony, Ningxia, China 2013
Kanaan winery owner Wang Fang began her love affair with wine during her 12 years living in Germany. Then, her father's winemaking in Ningxia opened her eyes to the wine potential of her hometown.
In 2011, she decided to go back to Ningxia to start her own winery. She chose a land on the Eastern Slope of Helan Moutain and named the winery ‘Kanaan’ (迦南美地)’—‘a land of fruit and hope’. Building a new winery means ‘big investment and low profit at the beginning’, therefore she decided to spend the money on vineyard, cellar and workshop first. Now the 20-hectare estate includes 16 hectares of vines, a well thought-through size based on the production capacity of the winery.
Known by her peers as the ‘Crazy Fang’, Wang Fang has been an adventurous winemaker. The trophy-winning wine, Pretty Pony (小马驹), is the flagship wine from the winery’s ‘horse series’—in which every wine carries a label with a beautiful black horse. The choice of the name was due to the owner’s affection about horses, and the fact that ‘the new emerging China fine wine industry is young and full of energy, just like my Pretty Pony’, she said.
Ningxia's cold winter presents a great challenge to the local vineyards; wineries have to bury their vines to endure the severe weather, and dig them out the next spring. Other than that, 2013 was a generally ‘normal’ year in Helan Mountain East. The cool weather created healthy, rich and aromatic fruits. Pretty Pony 2013 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, with 24 months of oak ageing.
Decanter Tasting notes:
Wonderfully expressive, spicy notes scramble over rich, opulent layers of dense black fruit on the front and mid palate. Succulent plum, ripe, juicy blackcurrant and seductive bramble ebb and flow, connecting seamlessly with the firm, almost effortless, tannins. This is elegant winemaking at its best.
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