Chinese Syrah and rosé show potential at Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2016

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Syrah and rosé wines from China are showing good potential in this year’s Decanter Asia Wine Awards, said the judges.

Image: CH'NG Poh Tiong at 2016 Decanter Asia Wine Awards
Image: CH

*Additional report by Maxime Lu, judge of the 2016 Decanter Asia Wine Awards.

Judges were particularly impressed with Chinese wines made from the Syrah grape, according to CH’NG Poh Tiong, one of the vice-chairs at DAWA 2016.

More than 40 experts are blind tasting nearly 2,900 wines, including 200 Chinese entries, in Hong Kong this week. The best will get DAWA 2016 medals.

It is ‘reassuring’ to see more Chinese winemakers experimenting beyond Cabernet Sauvignonand Bordeaux blends when making red wines, said Ch’ng.

He led a judging panel for Asian wine entries on the second day of the DAWA 2016 judging week.

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Chinese rosés also gave judges a pleasant surprise, said Ch’ng.

‘These wines are balanced, elegant, not heavy, and certainly without oak,’ he told DecanterChina.com.

‘I’m so delighted that in the last two or three years, we have started to see elegant, nicely fruity, fresh rosés from China. Don’t stop doing this,’ he advised producers.

Image: 2016 Decanter Asia Wine Awards
Image: 2016 Decanter Asia Wine Awards

Ch’ng said Chinese white wines were still focused around Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. ‘We haven’t seen the same degree of experimentation with whites,’ he said.

He added that the best Chinese wines were also the ones where winemakers had learnt to manager oak levels.

‘By all means use oak if you think that’s going to help you produce a wine of structure, balance and complexity,’ said Ch’ng.

‘However, the fruit must be the dominant personality of the wine; just like the melody of the music and the plot of a book,’ he said.

Full results are due to be released in early October.

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