A good friend brought me a Chardonnay from China.
The 2004 Grace Chardonnay was provided in a beautiful box, but not being able to find out much about the wine I had no idea if it would be a decent (drinkable) wine or not.
Most wine professionals know very little about Chinese wines so I put the wine away and waited for the right time to open it with some other wine drinkers.
I am a member of a tasting group full of non industry wine aficionados. These folks KNOW wine. When it was my turn to host I put this wine (now 11 years old) in a blind tasting with some other Chardonnays from around the world that were much younger
This was not a very fair comparison. The other wines that were served were around 10 years younger and were fresh and vibrant.
The Chinese Chardonnay had a funky, oxidized nose but this eventually dissipated and the wine was actually very interesting. Some thought it was a Chenin Blanc, others a late harvest wine, but all were amazed that a Chinese wine displayed this amount of complexity after 10 years in the bottle.
Will keep an eye on wines from China as they are ramping up to become a grape growing powerhouse…
Here is some more information about the winery and wines of China: