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NingXia Wine Tour: Dinner Wines

A, Lux Regis (Leirenshou) R5 Cabernet Gernischt 2012(类人首R5蛇龙珠 2012). Ranked 14; 1 First, 0 Second, 4 Lasts. Deep ruby red, tight pink rim. Ripe black fruit, purple flowers. Youthful. All pointing to a correct wine. This wine showed lots varietal character of Cabernet Gernischt – greenness, grassiness, tannic, eucalyptic, touch of slight sour and bitterness, upfront spiciness. Light and short finish. With unbalanced alcohol, this wine needs time to develop and with this tasting. Will perform better in years ahead.

B, Ch. Septembre Reserve Glory Jade Shiraz 2013, (九月兰山 西拉珍藏 2013). Ranked 12; 0 First, 1 Second, 5 Lasts. A wine that generated diversified views. Some tasters thought the wine was well balanced wand structured, with round dark fruit, fragrance, licorice, classy scent of sandlewood, and showed lots of potential. To some, this wine is drying out with a hard finish, and gave raw fruit. How can this wine bridge across? How to increase the common denominators for this little wine with the more popular fruit profile?

C, Ch. Helan Treasure Cabernet Franc 2012, 贺兰珍堡品麗珠 2012. Ranked 4; 2 Firsts, 2 Seconds, 1 Last. Medium ruby colour, pink rim. Fruit still masked by fruit: smoky sweet spice(coffee and cinnamon) on top supporting adequate, lurking fruit. High alcohol was balanced by nice acidities from fruit; tannin structure is also very haromious(fine, ample, unobtrusive) though. Medium finish adds to easy to drink. Overall an all-round wine with strong commercial viability and connoisseur temperment. On palate, some argued for its lack of palate concentration, but we thought this wine did pretty well in showing the feminine, fragrant, aromatic Cabernet Franc with a touch of light neing. .

D, Sha Po Tou Chateau Cabernet Gernischt 2011, (宁夏红集團沙坡头庄园 蛇龍珠 2011). Ranked 8; 1 First, 1 First, 0 Last. Deep ruby with pink rim. Dark fruit is quite masked by tones of cinnamon, mint, chocolate, eucalyptus. Good acidities, velvet texture, good finish length are the strength. Funky wine-some complexities-perhaps may not like by modernist.

E, "Yang Yang Intl Ch., He, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, 宁夏阳阳国际酒庄赤霞珠-贺-干紅葡萄酒 2013". Ranked 5; 1 First, 2 Seconds, 1 Last, Decanter Bronze 2015. Not expressive to start: muted fruit. Once opened up, this wine is show full spectrum of nose from blackcurrant fruit to floral tones(lavender and violets). Descriptors include “classy, elegant, cedar wood, good balance, good structure, depth". Seemed consistent in scores.

F, Ch. Zhihui Yuanshi Son of Mountain CS 2011(志輝源石 山之子 赤霞珠干紅 2011). Ranked 2; 3 Firsts, 2 Seconds, 0 Last, Decanter Silver 2015. Full spectrum of nose: powerful and pure blackcurrant fruit, clear and well-defined. Very approachable. Excellent comments overall: velvet tannins, lovely wine, elegant, good concentration, well integrated tannins. Consistent score from tasters.

G, Domaine Pu Shang Marselan 2013,(浦尚酒庄 馬塞兰 2013). Ranked 1; 5 Firsts, 6 Seconds, 0 Last; Decanter Silver 2015. Deep purple, pink rim. Ripe and powerful, with blackcurrant fruit dense like melted Rowntree blackcurrant pastilles. A very big wine with great potential. Comentaries are: "Rich dark fruit, integrated oak, can age for a long time, super ripe balanced by good acidities; charming mixed tones of black chocolate and raspherry, pleasant sweetish finish".

H, Domaine Giantmonte La Lune Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, 海香苑酒庄枕山酒园 2013揽月珍藏版 赤霞珠干红. Ranked 10; 0, 4, 1. Decanter Silver 2015. Dark ruby, garnet rim. Backward stlye showing tertiary meaty tones. Dry floral, ripe berries, well balance, All seemed to agree that this wine was too young. Still a long time to go. Fruit quality is not up to standard. Or that may be a substandard bottle.

I, Lanny Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2012(兰一酒庄 珍藏赤霞珠 2012) Ranked 9; 3 Firsts, 1 Second, 3 Lasts, Jancis Robinson >16. Lively crimson. Sweaty/tobacco nose. Sweet start. Dry finish , followed by quite some dense and diverse reed and black fruit. Other commnets include, ‘ medicinal, dusty nose, fine tannins, long length.’ A contriversial wine.

J, Yinchuan Treasure Real Winery NV, 宝实葡萄酒庄 昊苑宝石紅赤霞珠干紅Ranked 7; 3 Firts, 0 Seconds, 0 Last, Jancis Robinson >16. Deep ruby. Arrays of simple yet consistent sour cherry and dark fruit. Structured wine with soft and thick tannins. Long length layered. Nice effort. Good commnets are: classy, beautiful wine, elegant, sweet middle length, seemless, textured tannins.

tst Noir NV, 夢沙泉-沙s漠之舟列. Ranked 15; 2, 0, 10. Vivid red fruit. Simple palate. Fine tannins. Medium length Bitter finish. Clean though. Comments are: Nose like fruit drops, lack fruits, pretty simple, oxidized. Apparently this wine can attain commercial recognition if its map charts well. Commercial or Connaisseur? Varietal or Terroir? International or Chineserie?

L, Ch.Septembre Lan Shan Jade CS & Merlot 2013, 兰山玉卓經典赤霞珠美乐干紅 2013. Rank 3; 4 Firsts, 1 Second, 0 Last, Decanter Bronze 2015. A very big wine with brooding dark fruit to be rewarded by patience. Not quite approachable for the time being. Good comments are: good concentration, well balanced, vivid and interesting grass cuttings tones, rich concentrated, raw tannins". But when can we reap the month back?

M, Huida Winery Qian-Hong-Yu CS Diatmond 2013, 宁夏汇达酒庄(紅寺堡) 千红裕钻石级 2013. Ranked 13; 1 First, 5 Seconds, 3 Last, Decanter Silver 2015. Creamy sweet spice(cinomon, cloves and coffee) suppressing the lurking dark fruit. Comments are not all nice: "Soft, sweet, chemical nose, rubbery, chewing gum, glue. Quite an easy wine. Where is the fruit? Where is the structure? I am more interested to discusss with the taster who gave this wine a First. Or is it a correct bottle.

N, Guanlan Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, 觀瀾酒庄 2014 (15%- 寥祖宋 winemaker). Ranked 6, 2 Firsts, 3 Seconds, 1 Last. Fruit muted by sweet oak. Round gummy palate. Good comment are: "nice wine, spicy oak, very tannic, big wine, quite like it, ripe, gummy on pallate, sweet oak, nice, lucious, chewy, ripe. The weakness are: needs time, short palated." This wine is still a baby.

O, Tianjun Lisi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2013天骏利思酒庄 赤霞珠干红葡萄酒 2013. Ranked 11; 2 Firsts, 1 Seconds, 2 Lasts, Decanter Gold 2015. A dark wine showing a lot of tastes. Big and structured. Very floral, rich and concentrated. But there are lots of adverse opinions "too dry tannins, cooked, upfront, empty finish, finesse, green characters, cooked wood, ,but empty finish". Lots of potential.

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