As the former head of wine for Hakkasan and its collection of Michelin-starred restaurants, Christine Parkinson has had plenty of experience tasting what China has to offer over the past couple of decades. Parkinson was initially a head chef, before discovering wine – and more recently, sake – within her role at the Hakkasan Group. Today, she is working to support low and no alcohol brands, and recently founded her own consultancy, Brimful Drinks.
‘I was charmed by two Cabernet Francs from the same winery: Penglai Longting Vineyard Co. The Art Series Summer 2019 rosé and the Reserve 2018 red,’ said Parkinson. ‘It’s just so pleasing to find authentically crunchy, fresh and tasty wines that are unmistakably Cab Franc,’ she added. According to judges, the rosé was packed with fresh strawberry, tangerine and greengage notes, with a crisp raspberry palate and a wonderful, lively acidity. Meanwhile, the red revealed blackcurrant and black cherries, followed by a coffee and clove finish.
Chateau Changyu’s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon also performed really well for Parkinson, highlighting the diversity that’s on offer in China from whites, reds and, of course, rosé wines. The Chardonnay showed lemon and lime aromas with uplifting white flowers, but plenty of acidity to balance it out, while the Cabernet was unusual, with orange peel on the nose leading to savoury black fruit and floral vanilla, plus a touch of blackcurrant leaf on the finish.
Read on to see Christine Parkinson’s top Chinese wines from the IWSC 2021.