Colour: Very deep purple
Nose: Albeit youthful, there is already open and abundant super-ripe cassis, black cherry, mulberry, blueberry and black plum fruit with less pyrazine observable in this bottle (although this becomes more overt on the palate). That core of fruit is complemented by subtle new oak notes of clove, toast and smoke.
Palate: Abundant, fine-grained and coating tannins with some lively acidity and well-integrated alcohol, these structural elements being well-knitted together with the vibrant core of fruit, touch of herbaceous character (sage, mint) and subtle new oak notes. With its long length and marked concentration, although youthful, the 2018, tasted closer to sea level, has the kind of approachability similar to some Napa Cabernet blends. But it is unquestionably super youthful and is taking on entirely its own identity as the very best blend of these four remarkable village vineyard sites (each at different altitudes). It will be fascinating to see its evolution in bottle. (WA)
Grape Varieties: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 7% Syrah and 4% Petit Verdot.
Awards: 98pts – James Suckling; 95pts Wine Advocate-Parker
History of Ao Yun
The Ao Yun vineyards – Moët Hennessy’s Chinese project – are some of the world’s most dramatic and extreme, towering at over 2,000 metres’ altitude over the Mekong. Produced in the foothills of the Himalayas, near the legendary city of Shangri-La, Ao Yun is the fruit of an exceptional adventure that pushes the frontiers in winemaking, by creating a wine estate in a previously unexplored terroir. Ao Yun means “flying above the clouds”, a reference to the clouds that cap the summits of the surrounding mountain chains.
After four years of searching across China to find the ideal terroir to produce a red wine worthy of comparison with the world’s greatest wines, the perfect site was found in the north of the Yunnan province. Situated on the banks of the Mekong River, the region harbors fabulous potential for producing wine, a remote little corner of paradise nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, not far from the legendary city of Shangri-La. Located in the villages of Adong, Xidang, Sinong and Shuori at the foot of the sacred Meili mountain, Ao Yun vineyards range in altitude from 2,200 to 2,600 meters, enabling the cabernet sauvignon grape to express the full refinement of this unique terroir.
Local farmers have worked these lands for centuries, adapting their farming techniques to the steep mountainsides. To respect time-honored local tradition, the grape harvest and winemaking are done entirely by hand. The Ao Yun terroir enjoys exceptional climatic conditions, with temperatures similar to those of Bordeaux.