A Chinese winery was honored with one of the highest awards at this year's Decanter World Wine Awards Tuesday, signaling the country's burgeoning reputation not only as a wine-drinking nation but a wine-producing one as well.
A 2009 Bordeaux blend called Jia Bei Lan from the He Lan Qing Xue winery in Ningxia province won in the category of still red wines over £10 (€11.35) for the Middle East, Far East & Asia.
Judges described the wine as "supple, graceful and ripe but not flashy" and praised its length and tannins, a release said.
The same winery won a silver medal for its 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Domaine Helan Mountain winery, also from China, took home a silver medal for its Classic Chardonnay 2008 and a bronze medal for its Premium Collection Riesling.
Other award winners include wineries from Japan, Thailand and India, whose Sula Vineyard won a silver medal for its Sauvignon Blanc.
The Chinese thirst for wines - Bordeaux in particular - was likewise on display at the Challenge International du Vin in Bordeaux last month, France's largest wine competition, where the country was represented by six Chinese wines and 40 wine tasters.
According to the Bordeaux Wine Council, China and Hong Kong make up the biggest export clients for Bordeaux in value terms, with combined market sales at €333 million ($430 million).
Other award winners at the Decanter competition include supermarket and retail brands like a £5 (€6) Chilean white wine from Marks & Spencer, Pedro Ximenez 2010; supermarket brands of French champagne, the Asda Extra Special 2002 and Sainbury's Brut Rosé NV, both of which retail for about £20 (€23).
For a complete list of winners at this year's Decanter World Wine Awards, visit http://www.decanter.com/dwwa/2011/dwwa_search.php?qsearch=agmw.