NingXia Wine Tour: tasting notes

Silver Heights

Chardonnay 2014

Cool climate type. Simple citrus, peach, floral. Vivid fruit-very simple though.

Silver Heights, The Summit 2013

Classic Bordeaux Blends. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot. Alcohol 14%. Vintage 2013 is from a hot year- yields are low. Colours are bright deep ruby with garnet rim. This wine opens with a bouquet full of ripe red berry and plum fruit, and sweet spice. The full-bodied mouth feel is well structured with great balance between fruit character and hints of oak. Fine textured with supple tannins, it ends with a fresh, fruity finish. Adequate length. Seems to set a good impression of Xing Xia red wines.

Silver Heights, Family Reserve 2013

Bordeaux Left Bank style. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 Merlot; 30% new French oak, 70% used French oak. Compare to The Summit 2013, it has more sweet spice, more forward black fruit. Full bodied, riper tannins. A little muted fruit palate; finish is just of medium length. Will show more colours in 2 years’ time. Really not bad at all.

Pernod Ricard

Chardonnay 2013

Citrus, wood tannins spice. Oaky. Medium length. Still evolving. Fruit is upfront. Up to commercial requirement.

Chardonnay 2014 Special Reserve

More stone fruit. Citrus, peach. Linear acidity. Strong mid plate. Technical wine: whole bunch press, handpicked grapes, batonnage. A bit champagne feel. Lots of potential.

Chardonnay 2015

Very closed. Green apple. Low acid. A baby.

Merlot 2013

Deep ruby, Pink rim. Pure dark fruit, firm tannins, simple, medium finish. Fruit is still forward.

Cabernet 2013

Deep ruby, purple rim. Ripe as if it nose like Rowntree blackcurrant pastilles, stalky plate, stemmy, green tannins. Medium Length. Fruit quality could improve.

Xiao Feng Block 5 2013 Reserve

Icon wine; top wine. Some 95+% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a dash of Merlot. Ripe and concentrated fruit, dense palate, round tannins. Oaky. Forward fruit and round-Modern. You almost can feel the care to the plants. Not extracted. Long Length. Excellent fruit quality. This is the second vintage-this wine seems to have lots of future. Made by the Australians, this wine is what I called ‘Chinoiserie’-a special sense of place, mix of modernity and backwardness. Perhaps this is the testament to that Good Wine Starts from Good Planting.


Chardonnay 2013

Dry fruited (dry lemons), crisp, oxidative tones. Intense mid palate, light bodied. Lack fruit. Bitter finish. Below commercial standard.

Pinot Noir 2013

Expressive varietal characters-strawberries, cherries tones- and is quite concentrated too. Soft tannins, strong mid-palate, medium bodied, friendly like Beaujolais. Structured though Four-squared. Can’t complain ; can’t compliment either.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Classic Bordeaux Left Bank blending like 80% Cabernet and 20% Merlot. Very deep colour, pink rim. Fresh dark fruit, bodied, strong, firm tannins. Nose expensive oak. On the right track.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Same composition as 2014. Pronounced blackcurrant, ripe and concentrated dark fruit. Spicy, tamed tannins, long velvety finish. Not bad. Pretty good.