Taste Test: October 2012

By Mat Ryan

Shanghai’s most committed dipsomaniacs get together to share and compare some of the wines around town. It’s a no-nonsense guide to the good, the great and the bloody ordinary of wine. Which wine will win this month?

Frank Dupuis – Visiting Canadian
Thomas Geffre – Wine Peddler
Steve Hitchcock – Wine Peddler
Dean Lapthorne – Wine guzzler
Alex “The Jaguar” Pezzani – Coffee guru
Mat Ryan – Partner in The Shed & Owner of JustBeer

Cousino Macul Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile (2010)

On the nose of our very first wine, the first wine to be consumed at the brand new Shed (698 Shaanxi Bei Lu, near Kangding Lu. Web: www.shedsh.com), I picked up a lot of dark fruits. Thomas told us that this wine comes from one of the oldest wineries in Chile. They’ve been growing grapes there for some time, but Chilean wines have only really come into the mainstream over the past decade or so. Dean said he would have liked a “little more guts in it”. Frank declared it a great ladies’ drink, being a little fruity and not too sweet (that’s the wine, not Frank). 

 For food, Alex came up with an interesting option that would probably work; a pan-fried or baked fish dish, with a strong tomato-based sauce.

Price: RMB 150

Twinwoods Cab/Merlot, Australia (2007)

Minty fresh was my first thought. Definitely an Australian Cab, but in a blind tasting I’d have put it more from Coonawarra in the South, rather than the Western region it’s from. My fellow Aussie Dean said, “Yeah, it’s got that Aussie cab nose for sure,” and we both loved it. The Italian, Alex, was likewise quite happy with it. However the North Americans weren’t really impressed. 

Thomas enjoyed the length it had, and said it lingered on in the mouth. I’d definitely drink this regularly, but it really is a wine you’d serve with food. It’s not for sitting in front of the TV with; it’s for a dinner party.  

For the food match, you couldn’t beat a Sunday Roast.

Price: RMB 170

Neil Ellis Cab/Merlot, South Africa (2009)

I was looking forward to this one. I’ve not had it before, but I’ve been a fan of their Pinotage for years. I wasn’t disappointed, and neither was anyone else. Dean noted the liquorice flavours it exhibited, and Alex agreed. “I like liquorice, so I like this wine!”

Dean also noted the typical Cabernet herb flavours coming through, whilst I sensed a little bit of a Hessian aftertaste, which is not really a bad thing and typical of South African wines in general. Steve said “it’s a very enjoyable wine; hard to say anything bad about it at all.” Frank thought it a bit too strong, but would be fine with food. 

For a food pairing, Frank suggested a big, meaty pasta, whereas I thought that this would be a great wine with venison or maybe even kangaroo. Do they have ‘roos in South Africa? 

Price: RMB 250

Chateau Martinat Cab/Merlot, France (2008)

I was a little hesitant at first when I saw this in the line up. Most of the cheaper priced Bordeaux are a quite poor quality, but this one surprised me. So much so that it will go on the wine list at The Shed. 

Thomas is actually from Bordeaux, so we looked to him for comment. He loved it, saying that it was “a very modern style Bordeaux.” Dean said that it’s one of those wines that if you took to a dinner party, your hosts would be impressed with your wine selection skills. Steve wasn’t as enthusiastic as the rest of us, but again, he couldn’t find anything offensive about it. The final word from Dean was that it “spells Bordeaux.” 

For the food, Alex probably came up with the best suggestion of steak tartar or escargot. 

Price: RMB 245


It was an interesting tasting; four different Bordeaux style blends from four different countries. Steve said “Neil Ellis was the best dressed here today;” he liked the South African wine best. And then apart from Frank, who chose the Chilean wine, the rest of us favoured the Bordeaux. 


All wines are available from Jebsen Fine Wines. Tel: 159 0062 0028. Web: www.jebsenfinewines.com

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