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Ao Yun, Yunnan, China, 2019

Regular price $389.95 Sale price $400.00
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Overview of the Wine
LVMH, the famous luxury group, is embarking on a new venture in China, more precisely near the legendary city of Shangri-La, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Ao Yun, whose name means "flying above the clouds," was created in 2013. Produced from several vineyards at altitudes ranging from 2,200 to 2,600 metres, this wine, produced in very limited quantities, is leading the way for high-end Chinese wines. 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.

Grape / Blend
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Syrah and 6% Petit Verdot

Yunnan, China

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
A rainy and cool winter preceded a spring marked by hydric stress, resulting from dry and hot conditions, which had an impact on yields and grape concentration. The summer had rainy spells which advanced a gradual and even ripening of the grapes. As the harvest approached, the combination of relative coolness and dry conditions was ideal for refining the ripening process. The harvest was the latest and longest in the history of the estate.

Concentrated, fresh and velvety expression of the Ao Yun wine produced in this Himalayan terroir.

Ao Yun 2019 is composed of grapes from 4 villages: Xidang (23%), Sinong (21%), Shuori (32%) and Adong (24%).

98 Points - James Suckling
Very scented, complex and layered with a classy nose full of ripe currants, smoke and sweet tobacco leaves. Graphite, charcoal, exotic herbs and cigar box. A hint of black truffle and tapenade, too. Full body with fine, silky tannins that highlight the juicy aspect of this wine. Dusty tannins gradually build up on the palate in a crescendo, following through to a juicy, precise and lengthy finish. Super-polished and refined. There is still cabernet verticality on the palate. The finest Ao Yun so far? It has a finish that lasts almost two minutes. 67% cabernet sauvignon, 17% cabernet franc, 10% syrah and 6% petit verdot. This is a blend of 23% of Xidang village, 21% Sinong, 32% Shuori and 24% Adong. Already drinkable now, but should hold until 2026.

96 Points - Decanter
Vivid dark purple in the glass - such a striking, gorgeous dark plum colour with matching scents of damsons, plums, spiced blackcurrant, liquorice, chocolate, fragrant dried rose petals, pot pourri floral elements, hoisin, peppercorns and cola. A riot of aromas on the nose - this smells deep and rich yet fresh also with a salty minerality. Supple and full in the mouth, massy with firm tannins that give a beautifully integrated structure. Mouthwateringly juicy, but really well balanced so the acidity doesn't stick out. Blueberries, blackcurrants and black cherries on the palate, fresh and lively. Quite a powerful, concentrated mouthful but kept lively by the acidity and overall freshness. Bright, focussed, crystalline quality to the fruit with a wonderful juiciness and overall zing. Hints of spiced liquorice, smoke, tobacco, clove, cinnamon and a touch of minerality as well as a fresh mint (menthol and eucalyptus) finish. Clean and precise, feels well worked, detailed with good persistence. Lots going on here. Still quite compact and full of spice but extremely nuanced and characterful. Lots of enjoyment to be had here and great ageing potential too. 6% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Director and winemaker Maxence Dulou. Ageing a third oak barrels, new oak and Chinese stoneware with the final blend decided in Hong Kong at sea level to avoid the dry air at altitude. 2019 was one of the smallest crops with an overall yield of just 16hl/ha. The vintage saw a more rainy and cool winter than average with a late budburst but homogenous, dry and warm spring - one of the warmest and driest ever. A little bit more rain fell during the summer than average with a dry and cool end of season. Overall very heterogeneous over 28ha (727 different plots) needing the latest and longest harvest since the project began lasting 72 days from 9 September to 21 November.

97 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
I loved this bottle of 1982 Cos d'Estournel, and it was easily the best bottle I’ve had of this wine, which has always shown slightly tired and over the hill for me. It shows classic, even youthful notes of lead pencil, currants and saddle leather, was full-bodied, had beautiful depth of fruit, and a great, great finish, all pointing to a fully mature yet grand Saint Estephe.

96 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This is the best vintage of Ao Yun to date and also the highest-scoring Chinese wine I have ever reviewed. It, therefore, requires a more detailed account to understand why. The 2019 Ao Yun is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Syrah and 6% Petit Verdot (this latter emanating from the village of Sinong). Notably, Merlot did not make the grade in 2019, which was less to do with vintage but, according to winemaker Maxence Dulou, more a function of Merlot vines at an adolescent stage of development (at five to six years of age, Dulou feels Merlot doesn’t produce the most interesting fruit compared with younger or older vines). The relatively cooler and wetter winter prior to 2019 gave the vines decent reserves, but the drier and warmer than expected spring meant some irrigation was required around budburst and flowering. Overall, across Ao Yun’s different villages sites—Xidang, Sinong, Shuori and Adong—2019 witnessed a warm, healthy growing season and not too warm autumn with yields at their lowest to date (around 16 hectoliters per hectare rather than the average of 20-22 hectoliters per hectare). The long harvest commenced in Xidang on September 9th and finished in Adong on November 21st. Of the varieties above, the proportion of fruit was drawn from the villages in order of elevation as follows: 23% from Xidang, 21% from Sinong, 32% from Shuori and 24% from Adong. In the harvest as a whole, only 53% went into Ao Yun’s top wine, with tiny percentages being used for the Villlage Cru reds (6% each) and 2% for the 2019 Chardonnay. Thus 33% of the harvest was not used for Ao Yun at all.- ER

97 Points - Vinous
The 2019 Ao Yun is seriously impressive. Bright, fresh and vibrant in the glass, the 20W is a wine of energy more than size. Crushed red berry fruit, blood orange, mint, cinnamon, cedar and sweet pipe tobacco are all finely cut in this mid-weight, Cabernet Sauvignon-based red. In 2019 the blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Syrah and 6% Petit Verdot from the villages of Shuori, Xidang, Adong and Sinong, aged in 35% new oak 35% once-filled barrels and 30% stone jarres. It's a fine effort from the team led by Technical Director Maxence Dulou, a Bordeaux native who spent time in Chile, South Africa and several prestigious Bordeaux châteaux (including Cheval Blanc, Le Tour de Pin and Quinault L'Enclos) before moving with his young family to China in 2013 to head this ambitious project for LVMH.

Product size: 750ml

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