Fake, fun, odd and old wine labels. TWE pairs with Luzhou Laojiao. Four experts disagree on food and wine matching. Changyu-Moser XV turns five. All in the most recent Grape Wall
Ni hao from Beijing,

Where the skies are blue, the thermometer has dipped below 30, and I can smell my neighbors cooking lunch. Spicy Sichuan green beans? Possibly.

The stories below cover this week's deal by TWE with huge baijiu brand Luzhou Laojiao, a photo essay on Changyu-Moser XV as it turns five, what happens when experts split on whether a wine is a perfect match or perfectly faulty, and fake, funny, odd and old wine labels in China,

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Cheers, Jim Boyce
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Mixing alcohols

Two huge brands are partnering partner in China—Australian producer Treasury Wine Estates and local baijiu giant Luzhuo Laojiao.

Luzhou Laojiao will exclusively distribute TWE brands like Saltram and Penfolds Bin 138as well as get the majority quota for China of Penfolds flagship wine Grange, according to this report from Yicai Global.

The move comes on the heels of police busting a fake wine ring, including 8,000 knockoff Penfolds, in Liaoning province, and Wine Australia suspending exports of brand Daleford, which has labels that evoke Penfolds. For more on the Luzhou Laojiao deal, and other recent IPR cases involving Penfolds in China, see here.

60 for 60

Changyu-Moser XV opened its stunning Loire-esque facility in Ningxia five years ago. The project pairs Changyu, China’s oldest and biggest producer, with Lenz Moser, who hails from a veteran Austrian wine family. it is a sibling to similar huge Changyu wineries in Hebei, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong and Xinjiang.

While I don’t often hear Changyu-Moser XV spoken in the same breath just yet as the likes of Silver Heights, Grace Vineyard and Ao Yun, its global effort, led by Moser, has meant ample media coverage and the wines being stocked in England, Germany, the US and the UAR, among other places. And, as I learned during a May visit, there is plenty of ambition in the pipeline. I hope to post on that soon.

Last week, I sifted through photos from five years of visits to create a page with sixty, one for each month since this place launched. Check them out here.

In a pig's ear?

There is trouble at table five: A group of experts try a dozen wines with spicy shredded pig’s ear to decide the best pairing. Two claim they have an ideal match for that crunchy porcine auditory organ--wine number 3--and give it 95 and 98 out of 100 points. Unfortunately, group chair Natasha Hughes finds the pairing unsatisfactory, the wine dirty, and calls in event co-organizer Andrew Caillard to verify. Uh oh.

This happened at the International Wine & Cuisine Pairing Competition in Beijing.’s Fangshan district, For what happened with that pig's ear, and why pairing matters, click here.


The label page

Fake, funny, old or odd, we have no shortage in China of intriguing wine labels. I just created a dedicated Grape Wall page to them here. It starts with fun labels, moves to the top foreign brands in China, Lafite and Penfolds, then sorts by country before finishing with vanity labels and “blasts from the past”. See them all here.

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Note: This newsletter content is general information. I make no guarantee as to its completeness or accuracy. Use it at your own risk. In other words, I try hard to be accurate, but mistakes can happen, so reader beware. Also, I'm not a fan of spam and aim to send this newsletter only to people who signed up at Grape Wall blog or agreed by email or in person to receive it. Cheers, Jim Boyce
24 August 2018
Grape Wall covers China's wine scene. Winery visits, tastings, news, reviews, and interviews .Since 2007. Administered by Jim Boyce. Get the newsletter here.
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Grape Wall launched World Marselan Day on April 27 to honor this grape's creator, Paul Truel, and shine a light on a variety found in dozens of nations and across China. More here.
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10 takes on China's wine tariff, Penfolds' dodgy competitors, state booze picks
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