What should Chinese wine taste like?

Label of Jade Dove Chardonnay

Richard searches for a common descriptor for wine from China.

Wine’s most treasured quality is to reflect its origin: ‘to hold as 'twere the mirror up to nature’, as the Danish wine critic Hamlet put it.

Without a sense of place, wine soon becomes a commodity, stripped of intrinsic value, as anyone who has tried to flog generic Chardonnay would surely agree. Whereas Le Montrachet is the heavenly throne of Chardonnay – not merely a varietal wine but first and foremost, a place.

Throne on map of Montrachet vineyard

Terroir must confer discernible attributes on wine, otherwise there would be no justification to it. Accordingly, there...