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Red Bordeaux Varietal over £10

And the winner is...

He Lan Qing Xue, Jia Bei Lan, Ningxia, China
2009 (13%)

Big, leafy black fruit with exciting minty perfume.
Supple, graceful and ripe but not flashy – has a
Bordelais restraint. Excellent length and perfect
four-square tannins. Will age for five to six years.
Not available in the UK

A watershed moment. China’s thirst for fine Bordeaux is well documented
– less so its own winemaking capabilities. The roll call of names above is impressive, making this win even more startling. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), Merlot (15%) and Cabernet Gernicht (5%; related to Cabernet Franc or, possibly, Carmenère) was made from hand-picked, hand-sorted grapes, and was neither filtered nor fined. Annual production is about 20,000 bottles, and the wine is available, presently, only in Ningxia itself, and one shop each in Beijing and Shanghai.

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