Austrian Lenz Moser set out to prove a point. See also this detailed account of his taste-off. A version of this article is published in the Financial Times. Above, a bottle of Moser's white Chinese Cabernet in front of the bottles tasted blind in London.
It may be popularly believed that wine writers like me are sent Bordeaux first growths all the time but this is very far from the truth. So when, in early July, I opened a box of wine to find a bottle of Ch Lafite 2019 in it it was quite an occasion. Especially since it had been sent not from Bordeaux but from a producer of Chinese wine.
Austrian Lenz Moser has a joint venture in the Chinese province of Ningxia with the biggest Chinese wine company, Changyu, called Chateau Changyu Moser XV, the Roman numerals a reference to the 15 generations of winemaking Mosers since 1610. He wanted me to taste his top Chinese wines against what he saw as the competition, top Cabernets from around the world. So he had put together bottles of four smart red bordeaux – the Lafite plus Figeac 2018, Léoville Las Cases 2017 and Pontet-Canet 2017 – plus the 2019 vintage of Napa Valley’s famous Opus One, to be compared with the first two vintages, 2016 and 2019, of his top Chinese wine and the extremely expensive Cabernets made, respectively, by Lafite and LVMH in China: Long Dai and Ao Yun.