Best value wines in Shanghai?

The Top 30

Many wines from across the globe land on our desks. Some are selected by us and some recommended to us. It’s my pleasure to present the 30 best value, quality fine wines we source for our Shanghai customers.

Tasting silhouette

We sample every style imaginable from the New & Old World, young & aged, oaked & unoaked, fresh & weighty, hearty & soft, spicy reds, sweet desserts, aromatic whites, sparkling roses, screw tops & cork sealed, bottle & box. Assessment is objective, rational, considered (sometimes even romantic).  Their suitability  for inclusion in our mission to bring the best value wines to a discerning audience is determined through long hours and many repeat tastes. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

Quality and Value

Quality is the first criteria but Price is key. The balance between quality and price must be right.  There are other considerations. Some products we adore have negative supply issues, such as intermittent or weak logistical support. If we feel there might be an issue we omit the wine.

Our recommended list reflects those that made it through that stage. Some successful candidates are later removed if the wine no longer meets our existing guidelines or our assessment criteria change.

In our book, value doesn’t mean cheap. It doesn’t mean poor quality, either. It means “particularly notable quality for the price“.

When considering this premiership list we take a closer look at flavour profiles, availability, consistency of supply, vintage changes, general appeal versus specific interest, focus group responses and flexibility of use by occasion and price. They still have to taste nice too (though according to some research and one of my blogs it apparently isn’t that important for some consumers when selecting and reselecting their wines. Mmne…odd world, we live in).

Anyhow, for those that want to know where the best bang for the buck might reside, highlighted here are 30 wines priced between RMB75 and RMB523 which The Wine Man feels best reflect the ‘particularly notable quality for the price‘ adage.

Italy, Spain and the New World continue to offer the most interesting and consistent quality versus price ratios. Interestingly, all but one of the tier 3 and 4 wines who make it to the top 30 are Italian, such is the their value right now. Click on any link to find out more of what we think of these wines.

Any of these 30 show exceptionally high quality for the price and will continue to do so well into 2012. From this list we have selected 3 from each grouping (tier 3 and 4 were combined) and then from those, a best red and white wine. See below.

Several of these wines are now medal winners and the Chinese made Silver Heights is now awarded best Chinese Red wine at the Annual wine Challenge at Shanghai Hilton (August 2012).

Here are the tier 1 wines that made it and in bold the winners from that tier:

•  Bodegas Alina Emblema Cabernet Sauvignon

Callia Alta Syrah/Malbec

•  B.P. Rothschild Mapu Red (Cab Sauv / Carmenere)

•  De Bortoli Sacred Hill Chardonnay

•  De Bortoli Sacred Hill Shiraz Cabernet

•  De Bortoli Sacred Hill Sparkling Brut

♥ Miguel Torres Chile San Medin Sauvignon Blanc

Enrico Serafino Barbera D’Asti DOCG

•  Woodbridge Zinfandel

•  Chateau Lamargue Grandes Cabanes White AOC BIN END

•  Zonin Prosecco-Black Bottle

And the tier 2 wines:

•  Zonin Sparkling (Spumante) Rose

•  Fernway Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (new 2012 vintage available!)

•  Enrico Serafino Gavi DOCG

•  Camino De Castilla Ribera Del Duero Crianza (Tempranillo)

•  Torres 10 Brandy

Bodegas Bilbainas Vina Paceta Rioja Crianza (Now re-branded ‘Pomal’)

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc (Barrel Fermented)

Zonin Ripasso Superiore DOC

•  Sella&Mosca Tanca Farra DOC

Tier 3 & 4 wines:

•  Coppola Diamond Chardonnay

Enrico Serafino Barbaresco DOCG

•  Enrico Serafino Barolo DOCG

•  Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina DOCG

Silver Heights Family Reserve

Terredora Greco di Tufo Loggia della Serra (bin end)

•  Sella&Mosca Marchese Di Villamarina DOC

•  Zonin Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC

Tier 5 wine: 

•  Terredora Taurasi Fatica Contadina (bin end)

Red wine overall Number #1 winner  is… Enrico Serafino Barbaresco DOCG

White wine overall Number #1 winner is… Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc (Barrel Fermented)

Watch out for the soon to be released Mifan Mama cookbook that tells in humorous style how best to make interesting meals in the less than satisfactory kitchens that pervade in SH. Many of the wines featured on this list and others in our portfolio are matched to around 24 of those recipes, with up to 4 wine recommendations per recipe (when I really got carried away!). We will let you know when that is available and where to get hold of a copy. Proceeds, of course, to the wonderful childrens’ charity and (I expect) Shining Stars too.

The Wine Man August 2012 (updated)

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