You don’t usually think of Asia as a region that produces great wine, but times are changing my friends! The wine industry in Asia is constantly evolving and every year we see better wines made with more modern winemaking methods.
The quality of Asian wines has improved so drastically that it's safe to say you are missing out if you haven't tried any of the top Asian wines.
We know it's hard to shop for Asian wines since there are now more than 1,000 wineries in Asia. So we tasted over 300 wines to find the best 12 just for you. You’re welcome.
Read on and we guarantee that you can find an Asian wine that is just your cup of, well, wine.
Wait a minute, isn't growing grapes in Bali impossible? Not for Hatten Wines, Bali’s first winery to create high quality wines in the challenging tropical climate. Their wines defy the traditional winemaking rules by using three unconventional grape varieties: Belgia, Alphonse Lavallee and Probolinggo Biru.
The Hatten Wines Tunjung Brut Sparkling has beautiful floral complexities with enticing notes of green apples and lemon tart. Made with Probolinggo Biru, it creatively ignores convention and is very enjoyable.
Occasion: An evening on Balinese or tropical beaches
2. Hevron Heights Eden Quintessence 2007
Israel has been making wines since long before Jesus performed his water to wine miracle. Continuing the time-honoured tradition of winemaking in the Middle East, Hevron Heights Winery is producing top quality Kosher wines in the heart of the Holy Land.
Steeped in tradition and history, the winery focuses on honouring the historical and geographical bond between winemaking and the Land of Israel, expressed in the Biblical-inspired names of its wines and the unique design of its labels.
This nine-year-old sweet wine shows lovely creamy pineapple, caramel, rose, roasted chestnut and butterscotch notes. Our take: it's balanced, intense and delicious!
Occasion: To have a Biblically-epic experience
3. Grace Winery Grace de Gris de Koshu 2015
People from the land of the rising sun don’t only drink sake! Japan’s growing wine industry currently has 80,000 dedicated growers cultivating 23,000 hectares of vineyards and tending to small plots of land.
Grace Winery is named after the Three Graces from Roman mythology, who are the goddesses of Charm, Beauty, and Creativity. This winery has pioneered fine winemaking in Japan through growing and producing wine from Koshu, Japan’s signature and unique grape variety.
Grace Winery's Gris de Koshu is lively and vibrant. Its magnificent bouquet of white florals, orange blossoms and chalk add a high level of sophistication to the wine. A classy and easy drinking wine beyond just enjoyable.
Occasion: With such a great name, you should try it with a romantic dinner!
4. Chateau Mercian Mariko Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Château Mercian represents the finesse and elegance of typical Japanese wines. For decades, Château Mercian has sought out the most suitable areas for growing specific grape varietals in order to produce delicate and marvelous wines.
Orange blossom and lime peel aromas with a delicate X-factor on the palate. Nice overall varietal characteristics and refinement with good lingering minerality. Wonderful expression of Sauvignon Blanc.
Occasion: Refreshing summer happy hour
5. Recanati Winery Chardonnay Reserve 2014
Another amazing winery from Israel, Recanati Winery was established in 2000 by Lenny Recanati and Uri Shaked. Their winemaking philosophy is to produce local and original wines that best express the local terroir.
Light touch of grapefruit, tropical melons and a beeswax finish. The clever use of oak maturation over fine lees is noticeable and well prescribed to add complexity. Rich yet still lively and refreshing.
Occasion: Bring it to a family lunch!
6. Jade Vineyard Aria 2014
China aims to become the world's number one wine producing country within three years, and Ningxia is one of the most promising of China's wine regions that is China’s most famous high-end wine production centre. The TFW team can't stop drinking the top Chinese wines from this region.
Ningxia is planning to expand from the current number of 100 wineries to an ambitious 1,000 wineries.
As a relatively new winery, Jade Winery’s vision is to make the best Chinese wine with respect for nature and to fully express the uniqueness of Chinese terroir. We believe they have achieved that dream with the Aria 2014.
The wine expresses the very best of its Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wine is lovely with flavours of blackcurrants, fine grain oak and hints of clove and toasted herbs. The tannins are assertive, well-structured and designed to last a long time. Supported by excellent acidity, the wine is lively and has a long life ahead of it.
Occasion: Great for any occasion, we just ask that you don’t “Ganbei” with this wine!
7. He Lang Ting Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Ripe, rich and powerful is the best way to describe this wine. Its explosive black fruits and charming baking spices are very pleasing on the tongue. Its generous flavours are balanced, concentrated and moreish.
It’s very hard not to love this wine! Promoting the wine life, He Lan Ting Winery is also a holiday resort. Personally we're hoping for fountains of wine reminiscent of Bacchanalia, especially with wines as good as we're tasting from this winery.
Occasion: Perfect for a late Sunday afternoon brunch!
8. Chateau Yuange Yuange Yuexiang Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
The wine of Château Yuange has been widely recognised in international competitions, such as the IWSC, and is a standard of excellence in the region.
This wine is very concentrated and supports a fresh and vibrant palate that has plenty of intensity. The genuine purity of the varietal is what makes this wine a clear winner. Time to buy Chinese wine!
Occasion: With a home-cooked dinner featuring rich red meat!
9. Yang Yang International Wine Estate Cabernet Gernischt 2013
Practically Father of the Year, Hong He, the founder of Yang Yang Winery, named the winery after his daughter Yang.
This wine shows interesting notes of white pepper, nice mint and blackberries. The fruit profile is balanced across the palate with the tannins to support the overall flow. With a great long finish, we give the wine top marks for its complexity!
Another example of why you shouldn't hesitate to buy Chinese wine.
Occasion: Hanging out with your wine geek friends
10. Chateau Mercian Mariko Vineyard Syrah 2013
Named after a 6th century prince who owned the land that the vineyard now occupies, Mariko Vineyards tries to produce wines that evoke the romanticism of fairy tales. For all those searching for a prince or princess, we would recommend their Syrah 2013 as the next best thing.
All the definitive characteristics of Syrah are well preserved in this wine and well integrated with aromas of white pepper, pine trees, blackcurrants and classy French oak.
This elegant example has tremendous freshness, elegance and poise. A true pleasure.
Occasion: Second or third date to make him or her feel like a princess or prince
11. Chateau Bacchus Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Like the Roman god of wine, Bacchus, who this wine is named after, we're bringing a bottle to our next party. Time to bring a little Roman debauchery to our Saturday nights, and we recommend you do the same, just with a bottle of this wine from one of the best wineries in the Yinchuan region.
This Cabernet Sauvignon is immensely concentrated with blackcurrants, cola and sour cherries. The core of this wine lies with its mouth drying tannins that support its ripe fruit characteristics.
Occasion: Add some red to your romantic dinner! As we say, the only thing better than a bottle of wine is two bottles of wine!
Kishor Vineyards is quite a special winery. It is situated in Kishorit, a residential community for adults with special needs who contribute to the production of the wines. This is a wine made with extra love.
Made with 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Petit Verdot, this wine has powerful flavours matched with notes of powerful oak, plush tannins, smattering of blackcurrants. The tannins are ripe and well-extracted, offering the drinker a wine full of concentration.
Occasion: When you need to have a guilt-free wine session - you're contributing to the success of the community at Kishorit!
Intrigued by these 12 top Asian wines?