The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2016

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Page 84 of 116

84  /  the tasting panel  /  march 2016 ASIA THE CHANGYU WINE DINNER AT SCARPETTA IN BEVERLY HILLS, CA by Karen Moneymaker / photos by Vivien Best East Meets West (Coast) T he Chinese calendar may say that this is the year of the Monkey, but all signs point to 2016 being dominated by the arrival of the wines of Château Changyu to the United States. Imported and distributed by CNS Imports, which has partnered with Premium Cask to bring these wines stateside, the wines of Château Changyu are set to bring Americans a new awareness of the burgeoning Chinese wine industry. Established in 1892 as the Changyu Pioneer Wine Company—making it the oldest and largest wine producer in China—Château Changyu underwent a transformation in 2005, under the guidance of Consulting Winemaker (and now Chief Enologist) Lenz Moser. Hailing from one of the top winemaking families in Austria, Moser has guided the winemaking of Château Changyu into the 21st century through an extraordinary program of implementing Western winemaking techniques and technology. Now, Château Changyu is poised for its big U.S. debut, notes Manny Burnichon, President and CEO of Private Cask Imports. "Wine professionals are excited and curious about wines from China. They add an exotic touch to a wine program." Indeed, Sommelier Roberto Loppi of Scarpetta was the first to carry the Château Changyu wines. They are also carried by Wally's Wine and Spirits at both of its locations in Brentwood and Beverly Hills, CA. "In such a global market for wine, we now have expertise of new countries coming up strong on the wine lists, like New Zealand, Hungary, Greece, Portugal . . . but you don't see Chinese wines yet. In a country with almost two millions acres planted under vine, and a huge variety of climates and soils, we cannot talk about just a 'Chinese' wine. There also local Vitis vinifera grape varieties, which are yet to be explored." Burnichon adds, "What we want to have in our portfolio are the best representations of some- thing unusual and special." Hence the addition of the Château Changyu wines—which are both familiar and striking—to the CNS Imports catalog. "The wines we tasted last night are made with Bordeaux varieties, but I don't want to compare them to a Bordeaux wine—it wouldn't be fair," weighs in Loppi. "They are quality wines made by a world-class winemaker, at a good price point, which work with the food and add caliber to any wine list. They are also a great example of a healthy business partnership, which can only benefit the greatest future wine market, China." To that, we say Gan bei! (Salute!) Yuan Liu, Director of Business Development of CNS Imports, Roberto Loppi, Wine Director of Scarpetta in Beverly Hills, CA, and Manny Burnichon, President and CEO of Private Cask Imports. Château Changyu 2010 Moser Family Cabernet Sauvignon ($25) THE WINES Château Changyu 2008 Moser XV 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot ($40)

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