These are the wines drunk by heads of state
Last week the drinks business conducted a one-off, pioneering tasting featuring 10 wines consumed by presidents and monarchs at the most lavish banquets of this century, and we reveal what these top drops were.
The event, staged at London’s Asia House on 14 October, featured a selection of wines that have all featured at state banquets this century, comprising a broad range of fine bottles, from the great names of Pauillac to a more esoteric offering from Napa and a top German Pinot Noir.
In each case, the bottles have been chosen by the host nation to draw attention to their winemaking prowess, and hence, each one of the wines is something fine and specialist, and often rare too.
And, among the wines, was one label that’s been served to more world leaders this decade than any other – and it’s from China.
Since 2009, that bottle has been on the table more than 40 times when heads of state have been present, according to its owner, Changyu Pioneer Wine Co.
Indeed, it has been served to world leaders at the 2016 G20 Summit in China, and visiting dignitaries from Angela Merkel to Barack Obama, Francois Hollande to Vladimir Putin.
What is it? Changyu AFIP No.1 – a Cabernet Sauvignon from China with a £100 retail price tag, and a no-expense-spared approach to its crafting.
Now, below are the full 10 wines poured at the event last week, each of which have been sipped by the world’s leading presidential figures this century.
You can see what they were, and where and when they were served.
We’ll be bringing you our ratings on the wines in a later article, and a full report on the tasting in the November edition of the drinks business.
Muga Selección Especial Reserva 2014
Served by Spanish King Felipe VI to Chinese President Xi Jinpin when President Xi made a state visit to Spain in 2018
Château Latour a Pomerol 1995
Served by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at the banquet dinner for Japan’s Emperor Akihito during his visit to Britain at Buckingham Palace in 2007
Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Laurène 2014
Served by Donald Trump to Emmanuel Macron in 2018 when the French president made a state visit to the US
Long Shadows Vintners Chester-Kidder Red Blend 2009
Served by Barack Obama to Francois Hollande in 2014 when the French president made a state visit to the US
Villa Ragazzi Sangiovese Napa 2012
Served by Barack Obama at his final state dinner in October 2016 when Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi made a state visit to the US.
Château Lafite Rothschild 1997
Served by French President Francois Hollande to Chinese President Xi Jinpin at the dinner for the 50th anniversary of China-France diplomatic relations in 2014
Kloster Eberbach Assmannshäuser Höllenberg Spätburgunder
Served by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the heads of state at the 50th anniversary of the European Union in 2007 (2003 vintage served on this occasion).
Château Margaux 1961
Served by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth to French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008 when the French president made a state visit to the UK
Château Mouton Rothschild 1988
Served in the welcoming dinner for Queen Elizabeth II hosted by French President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee Palace in 2004
AFIP No.1 Cabernet Sauvignon
Served at state banquets for many foreign heads of state when they visited China, such as Alexander Van der Bellen, President of Austria (2018); Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada (2017); Angela Merkel, The Chancellor of Germany (2015); Francois Hollande, president of France (2013); Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (2012); Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia (2011).
AFIP also served at the 2016 G20 summit in China, the BRICS summit, the China-EU Leaders’ Meeting and Youth Olympic Games welcome dinner.
According to Changyu, the wine has been served at a state banquet in China more than 40 times.