I must admit the last thing I expected to find sitting on a supermarket shelf was a bottle of Chinese wine but fair play to Sainsbury’s for taking a chance and introducing us to the ‘Changyu Noble Dragon‘ a blend of Cabernet Gernistcht (aka Carmenere), Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
Made by the oldest and most famous winery in China, the ‘Changyu Pioneer Wine Company’ established in the 1930’s and according to Sainsbury’s description one of the best-selling wines around the world.
This was actually picked by a member of our wine group ‘Cuvée Reserve’ as the ‘Wine of the month’ (February selection) a regular feature in which we all take a turn at selecting an easily available bottle to review up to a value of £10.
So what did we make of it, well, so far mixed reactions, a couple of us thought it was OK and some not really convinced mainly due to the tannins and oak.
So here are my thoughts…. Quite a nice deep red colour with pronounced aromas of fleshy ripe dark fruits mainly blackcurrants and berries along with wood shavings and a whiff of bonfire ash. (although others found it hard to distinguish any fruit they did notice the wood and smoke).
On first sip, the tannins were very prominent and mouth drying before the juicy slightly sweet and sour (sorry for the Chinese analogy) dark fruits burst to life. The oak was also very noticeable with a smokey woodiness in the background.
A few minus points for being a little too acidic and lacking in any real body and weight but overall I thought it was a good effort and enjoyed it.
I bought this at £8 when it was on the introductory offer, it has since reverted back to £10 which I think is a little steep but would buy again but only when discounted or part of a 25% off 6 bottle promotion.
So the verdict, for novelty value alone it’s worth a try, I was pleasantly surprised and if you haven’t tried Chinese wine before give it a go, it’s not that bad at all !
My rating 7/10 Corks