Chinese New Year Selection

Vivian Liang | February 2, 2020

Mature and Delicious Cabernet Sauvignon from Around the World

Chinese New Year is the single most important holiday for many of us all over the world, which denotes family reunion and a toast to traditions. During this traditional holiday, other than the national spirit baijiu, red wine is the drink of choice being served at the feast for its symbolism of luck, joy, and happiness. 

Personally, given the colder weather, I prefer bigger, more structured reds to enjoy with red meats.  I have selected eight Cabernet Sauvignon based wines from the 90s that are great choices for this special season. They are from two iconic regions – Bordeaux and California, which are known to produce some of the very finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world. All these wines have some bottle age, which has softened some of the tannins and given additional texture and complexity, making them a great partner to a variety of dishes. 

From Bordeaux in the commune of Saint-Estèphe, Cos d'Estournel 1989 is drinking superbly now. I recently opened a bottle and was impressed by its elegance and depth. Chateau Batailley has been crafting quintessential Pauillac for decades and this bottle from 1990 offers amazing value for its silky tannins and length. Further south in Saint-Julien, the vibrant Ducru Beaucaillou 1998 shows lovely aromas of blackberries, spices, and a precise finish. Finally from Margaux, Château Palmer 1989 is one of my favorite wines from the 90s, showing incredible complexity right from the first sip and plenty of energy. 

From California, I have always enjoyed Robert Mondavi's portfolio of wines. They offer a wide range of styles and prices at a consistent quality. Robert Mondavi's Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1992 is rich and concentrated, offering amazing drinking pleasure. I love Monte Bello by Ridge Vineyards atop the Santa Crus Mountains. This high-elevation Cabernet expression is so elegant, balanced and that this 1995 bottling is offering seductive aromas of mature red and black fruits while retaining amazing freshness. The 1997 Dominus is on the opulent side with an expressive nose of black fruits, roasted nuts, and sweet spices. I adore its luxurious yet silk-like texture. Last but not least, the 1997 Shafer Hillside Select is a big wine. It is deep in color and it shows great intensity and a pronounced nose of ripe black fruits, vanilla, and some smokiness. This wine will be perfect with hearty dishes such as Chinese braised lamb casserole and Chinese beef stew with potatoes at the Chinese New Year Eve dinner!