Chinese blind-tasting team claims shock victory
A team of wine tasters from China has claimed a surprise victory at the fourth La Revue du Vin de France Tasting World Championship in France.
Finishing ahead of France, who came second, and last year’s winners Spain, who this year fell to 10th, the Chinese team claimed the prestigious title and trophy at Château du Galoupet in Côtes de Provence on 8 October.
An American team finished in third place in the blind tasting, while Belgium finished fourth. The British team, one of 21 competing this year, finished in 11th place.
The competition required the teams to blind-taste 12 wines – six white and six red – and identify the main grape, country, region, producer and vintage of each wine.
Finishing on a score of 108 points, the Chinese team of Liu Chunxia, Tze Chien Chen, Xi Chen, Xianchen Ma and coach Alexander Brice Leboucq.
The victory came as no surprise to coach Leboucq, who noted that competition to gain a place on the Chinese team was fierce.
Commenting after their victory, the Chinese team acknowledged that in blind tasting competition’s success was half down to knowledge and half to luck, La Revue du Vin de France reported.
The Chinese wine market was the fifth-largest in the world last year, with 32 million cases of wine imported in 2014, according to the IWSR
The country is also a growing force in terms of wine production. Last year it had 799,000 hectares of land dedicated to growing grapes – second only to Spain.
Almost half of wine drinkers in China buy their wine online, making it the world’s largest and fastest growing e-commerce market.
China now boasts around 21 million online wine buyers mainly made up of the urban middle class who look for imported wine and in particular, wines which they perceive to offer value for money, according to Wine Intelligence.
The wines tasted at the La Revue de Vin de France Tasting World Championship, in the order in which they were tasted:
Grape variety: Chenin Blanc
Country: South Africa
Region: Paardebosch, Swartland
Producer: David Sadie
Grape variety: Chardonnay
Country: New Zealand
Region: Wairapara, Martinbourough
Producer: Ata Rangi
Grape variety: Riesling
Grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Producer: François Cotat (La Grande Côte)
Grape variety: Viognier (60 %; plus Sauvignon Blanc (25%) and Chardonnay (15%))
Producer: Ixsir (Grande Réserve)
Grape variety: Sangiovese
Region: Fontalloro, Tuscany
Grape variety: Malbec
Winery: Château de Chambert (Puits)
Grape variety: Syrah (90%; plus Mourvèdre (10%))
Producer: Domaine Peyre Rose (Syrah Leone)
Grape variety: Shiraz
Region: McLaren Vale
Producer: D’Arenberg (The Eight Iron)
Grape variety: Pinot Noir
Region: California (Central Coast)
Producer: Ojai Vineyard (Bien Nacido)
Grape variety: Monastrell 70 % (plus Cabernet Sauvignon (30%))
Producer: Bodégas El Nido
Millésime : 2014
Grape variety: Petit Manseng
Producer: Domaine Cauhapé (Quatuor de Cauhapé)