China ice wine excel in 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards

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Out of the 133 Chinese wines tasted at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), two wines, including an ice wine, were awarded the top regional award ‘Platinum Best in Category*’.

Image: Steven Spurrier and Sarah Kemp announced the beginning of Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 judging week, credit Decanter
Image: Steven Spurrier and Sarah Kemp announced the beginning of Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 judging week, credit Decanter

Two regional awards

‘Best Sweet Asia over £15’ medal went to an Ice Wine producer from Château Fenhe of Heilongjiang Luyuan Winery, marking the first ever sweet regional award won by a Chinese wine in Decanter competitions.

The winery is situated in the province of Dongning, which sits on the border with Russia. Surrounding mountains, sunshine and cooling winds provides a fine location for the Vidal grapes. The grapes are usually picked in mid-December at around ten degrees below Celsius, said the producer.

A ‘Lux Regis R6 Merlot’ from Ningxia Leirenshou Winery Co has won the ‘Best Red Asia over £15’ medal, adding another fine example of Ningxia reds to the region’s previous Decanter trophy winners.

Founded in 2001 at the Estern foot of the Helan Mountain, the winery is one of the first producers established in this highly expected quality wine region in China. Now the winery produces 75,000 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay every year.

Other Chinese wins

30 Chinese wines in total were awarded a medal (Bronze, Silver and Gold/Platinum) in this year’s competition, with 21 awarded a seal of approval (‘Commended’).

This result marks a significant leap from last year’s DWWA, in which 35 Chinese wines won a medal or a seal of approval, with Silver being the highest achievement.

Similar to last year, Ningxia (27 wines awarded) and Xinjiang (9 wines awarded) again led the wins of the Chinese legion, proving more evidence to the quality of wines offered by these two Northwest regions.

Other key wine regions in China, including Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, Beijing and Liaoning were also present among the award winners.

How does DWWA work

Among the 16,023 wines entered for this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, 130 wines in total were awarded the top regional award ‘Platinum Best in Category’ medal, and only 31 reached the top international award of the competition, ‘Platinum Best in Show**’.

Wines entered for 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards were first grouped into like-for-like flights, and tasted blind by the judges, who give awards from the seal of approval to Bronze, Silver and Gold medals.

Gold medal winners will then be tasted again against their peers in the same region to compete for the Platinum Best in Category medal.

The top awards of the competition, Platinum Best in Show medal, were given to the best wines among Platinum Best in Category medal winners through a final blind tasting.

244 judges from all over the world took part in this year’s competition, including 69 Masters of Wine and 26 Master Sommeliers.

* Equivalent to ‘Regional Trophy’ in the previous Decanter awards

** Equivalent to ‘International Trophy’

Click here to view the full results of the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards on Decanter.com

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