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Week in pictures: Hong Kong

Miles Beale, chief executive of the UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), was in Hong Kong last week to host its first trade tasting in the Asian wine trading hub, bringing along a range of English sparkling wines and British gins, as the country plans to expand its export market. At the moment, only about 5% of its domestic wine production is exported.

Sarah Heller MW led a media tasting showcasing a diversity of sparkling wines made from Berry Bros & Rudd, Bolney Wine Estate, Chapel Down, Furleigh Estate, Hush Heath Estate, Ridgeview Wine Estate as well as gins from Beefeater, Berry Bros & Rudd, Brighton Gin, Chapel Down, Cotswolds Distillery, Hendrick’s Gin, Hoxton Gin, Jensen’s Gin, Jindea Single Estate Tea Gin, Mayfield Gin and Plymouth Gin last Friday at Berry Bros & Rudd’s Hong Kong office.

Guy Tresnan, sales and marketing director of Chapel Down, the biggest English sparkling wine producer in the UK, was in Hong Kong to showcase his winery’s range of sparkling wines and a gin. One of the very first English sparkling wines available in Hong Kong, Chapel Down has been in the market for about 10 years and is mainly sold to British expats and restaurants. At the moment, only about 7% of its wines are exported overseas including to Hong Kong, China, the US, and rest of Europe, and the winery is confident to increase the percentage to 15% in five years’ time.

A 60 Year Old 1926 (with Peter Blake Label) Macallan Whisky with a high estimate of HK$4.6 million (US$586,000) will go under hammer at Bonhams’ Fine and Rare Wine and Whisky sale on 18 May, together with another show stopper, the 60 Year Old 1926 (with Valerio Adami Label) Macallan. This will be the first public appearance of the two bottles since they were auctioned over three decades ago in the 1980s, according to the auction house. The estimate, if realised, would put the bottles close to the Macallan “M”,  the most expensive whisky ever sold at auction, which netted £477,405 at Sothebys Hong Kong in 2014.

Albiera Antinori, president of Antinori winery in Tuscany, debuted the latest 2015 vintage of Tiganello in Hong Kong with its local importer Links Concept. A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc from a 57ha single vineyard of the same name, the 2015 vintage has been highly acclaimed, “thanks to the highly favourable weather during the entire growing season” according to the winery. Other wines released by the winery available in Hong Kong now include Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2015, Pian Delle Vigne 2013, Cervaro Della Sala 2016 and Guado al Tasso Matarocchio 2011. 

Leading up to what Sotheby’s calls the “largest-ever single-owner wine sale in Asia”, the auction house hosted an exclusive media wine tasting last week, featuring some of the rare Bordeaux supernovas from The Philanthropist’s Cellar scheduled on 31 March. Hosted by Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby’s Asia, and Adam Bilbey, Head of Sotheby’s Wine Asia, this tasting celebrates some of Bordeaux’s most revered names: Château Haut-Brion 1985 and 1970,  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986 and 1970, Château Latour 1982 and 1970, Château Margaux 1982, Cheval Blanc 1982, Château Lafite-Rothschild 1986 and Petrus 1985.

Helena Lindberg (centre) from Tenuta di Biserno in coastal Tuscany showcased three Super Tuscan wines from the estate – Isoglio del Cinghiale Campo di Sasso 2015, Il Pino di Biserno 2013 and Biserno 2012 – in Hong Kong with its local importer Corney & Barrow. The Swedish winemaker previously worked in Barossa Valley before joining the Tuscan winery in upper Maremma. She revealed that the estate is planning to increase the percentage of Cabernet Franc in its wine blend, bolstered by the grape’s potential in the coastal region on Tuscany. Its flagship Biserno is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. 

Jane Hunter (centre front), widley known as ”New Zealand’s First Lady of Zealand Wine”, with the New Zealand Consulate General, Carl Worker, centre back (wearing the red tie) at a wine dinner hosted at the Consulate General’s residence recently to celebrate Hunter’s visit to Hong Kong and the 25 years anniversary of her partnership with local importer Northeast Wines and Spirits.  

Adam Williams (centre), Sales Director of Hush Heath winery located in Kent, was in Hong Kong to showcase his range of still wines and English sparkling wines made from Kent at a lunch event hosted by its local importer Valdivia.

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