China’s leading e-tailer, Tmall.com, has unveiled its top 10 wines of 2016 based on consumers’ order volumes, repeat orders and wineries’ brand appeal, with Chinese favourites such as Penfolds and Bordeaux reds making the rounds. But surprises include the top prize winners, a relatively unknown Chinese Cabernet and a Canadian ice wine.
“The biggest surprise” as the retailer described it was the 2013 Niya Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Red from CITIC Guo’an group in Shandong province in eastern China.
The wine won the ‘Gold Prize’ outranking Penfolds and several Bordeaux reds after a panel of judges headed by Taiwan-based Mark Pygott MW blind tasted all wines on the top 10 list selected by Tmall to decide their respective rankings.
None of the wineries from China’s Ningxia or Xinjiang such as Silver Heights, Tiansai Vineyard made the list however.
The judges described the Chinese Cabernet as a comprehensive and integral red, “representing consumers’ growing interest for domestic fine wines”.
Other wines on the list in order of ranking were: Chateau Monlot 2010, Castel Firmian Mezzacorona 2013, Inniskillin ice wine 2014, Chateau Bertranon 2015, Penfolds Max’s Shiraz Cabernet 2014, St Hallett Black Clay Shiraz 2014, Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Undurraga Terroir Hunter Syrah 2012 and Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc 2014.
The result according to Tmall, showed New World wines and sweet wines’ growing popularity among drinkers. As reported earlier by dbHK, Chinese drinkers have developed a sweet palate for Sauternes in recent years. Two sweet wines including one ice wine from Canada and a sweet wine from Bordeaux’s Bertranon were included on the list.
The head of the judging panel Mark Pygott MW admitted his knowledge about the China market is limited, but the tasting for him affirmed that “even low- to mid -range wines have good quality.”
The e-retailer just recently announced that its sales has tripled in 2016 compared with 2013.