Changing Chinese consumption habits, an Italian gem, a website focused on beating fraud, and growing US demand for fine wine make James Suckling’s monthly news round-up
A growing trend of Chinese consumers buying imported wine to drink at home is contributing to Australia’s growing exports to the country, according to a three-year study by the Ehrenberg-bass Institute for Marketing Science, which is based at the University of South Australia Business School. And more consumers are buying wine online rather than in traditional brick-and-mortar shops, says Professor Larry Lockshin, who led the research. The total value of Australian wine exports increased 14 per cent in 2015 to A$2.1 billion. China, Australia’s third-largest export market, registered the strongest growth. Wine exports to the country grew 66 per cent to A$370 million last year, according to figures released by Wine Australia.
Sassicaia seems to be on a roll at the moment. I tasted the soon-to-be released 2013 twice in February—once at the winery and once in Miami at the Quality Meats steakhouse (I brought a bottle from Italy)—and both were superb. The 2013 seems to be a remix of the fantastic 2009 with wonderful structure and depth. I am impressed with the tannin structure of the 2013, which shows a firm and chewy mouthfeel yet an everso-polished texture. This is a Sassicaia with a big future. It’s clearly better than the excellent 2012 released last year. I gave it 98 points.