The Best of Vinexpo 2018

It was all about wine, wine and more wine last week in Hong Kong, when Vinexpo 2018 welcomed visitors from far and wide to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to meet importers, producers, sommeliers and merchants bringing bottles from all across the globe.

This three-day exhibition showcased notable tastes– some familiar to us, some less so – so we made the rounds and tried a taste or two of what was on offer. Check out what we found most interesting below.

Suntory‘s first business actually began with wine and not the whisky with which it made its name. Sales of the Akadama Port Wine started in 1907, and the brand has since expanded into different blends and various spirits, too. Tomi no Oka Winery’s flagship Tomi 1997 is the label’s greatest global success to date, winning a gold medal at the 2003 Les Citadelles du Vin, but experts at the estate have continued to introduce new wines to market and we had a chance to sip on a few ourselves.

From Lenz Moser vineyards in Austria comes Malteser Ritterorden Kommende. Vigorous and spicy, this unique blend had a nuanced scent thanks to malolactic fermentation occurring after 14 months in French oak barrels. This heady red would make a beautiful companion for big meals with big tastes, think venison, duck, lamb and curries.

Jackson Family Wines has vineyards around the world – from Chile to South Africa – but it is best known for its delicious Napa Valley production. The classic Cabernet Cardinale is a complex, masculine wine, with a big character and a dynamic earthiness. We were happy to try a glass (or two) and expect to see New World wine lovers bringing cases of this into the cellars soon.

Castel Mimi is a Moldovan estate with a rich history. A taste of the estate’s limited-edition Cabernet Sauvignon offers hints of cinnamon, chocolate and plums for a wine that would pair magnificently with cheese. And beyond the wines themselves – Castel Mimi houses three lines: Classic, Reserve and Select – the winery is a stunning location to visit in Eastern Moldova.

Modern and progressive wines are the backbone of the Slovakian grape scene. The Elesko wines brought to Vinexpo 2018 showed great sophistication, and were all created using biodynamic fermentation methods in one of middle Europe’s most forward-looking wineries.. We spoke to executive sommelier and author Vladimír Hronský about the unique history of Adriatic wines, as we sipped our way through the estate’s newest release.

Don Melchor is often recognised as the iconic Chilean wine thanks to its Concha y Toro line. We were pleased to try the No. 1, No. 3 and the No. 5 blends at Vinexpo 2018, and each one had a driven complexity that impressed. With the vineyards 2016 Cabernet set to launch this August, it’s worth investing in a case or two.

A taste of Great Wall Wine Cabernet took me back to a recent stay in Shanghai when I first had the opportunity to sample wine from this estate. The brand is currently undergoing a a shift in ownership and direction, so, while we’re not necessarily seeing the greatest wines coming through yet, this is certainly one to watch, which the endless lines of visitors to the Vinexpo 2018 stall attested to.