Over 30 magnums of top Bordeaux wines including all first growths are among wines that are rejected from entering into mainland China market for what Chinese authorities determined as “labelling issue”.
The wines that are flagged by Chinese customs are all in large format, 1.5 liters, and are imported by one Chinese company called Beijing Youjiu International Trading Company, according to the list of rejected goods in H1 released by the country’s General Administration of Customs.
The wines shown on the list include grand vins and second labels of all five first growths – Chateau Lafite Rothshcild, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Haut Brion- and other top names such as Chateau Pichon-Longueville, Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Chateau Montrose and Chateau Cos d’Estournel.
The vintages span from a 1984 magnum Chateau Lafite Rothschild to some 2018 releases.
In addition to top Bordeaux, there are a few other sough-after wines in the Chinese market, including magnums of Napa’s Opus One 2017 and Chile’s Almaviva 2018.
By rough estimate, all the large format premium wines are worth around half a million yuan. According to the authorities, all the wines are found to have labeling issue, without specifying details. The wines as a result are either returned or destroyed at the port.
Based on Chinese laws, imported wines must come with Chinese back label stating clearly information from ingredients list (additives, preservatives etc), net volume, alcohol content to importer details, country of origin and mandatory warnings.
Differences in translations in grape names could also lead to rejection by customs officials.
Other than the tranche of high-value Bordeaux clarets, other problematic wines flagged by authorities include wines from Australia, the US, Slovenia, Portugal and Chile.