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Ao Yun - Yunnan, China 2014 75cl
|Mix 12||Mix 6||Single||Bottles|
|Ao Yun - Yunnan, China 2014 - 75cl||Ao Yun - Yunnan, China 2014 - 75cl||£250.95
This wine is the second of its kind and is therefore unsurprisingly incredibly exclusive: just 2,000 cases have been produced and due to the remote area of vineyard, there is little room for expansion. Only 500 bottles have been released in the UK.
Warmer than average temperatures in 2014 led to an early harvest in the northwest corner of China’s Yunnan province, and grapes developed an excellent concentration and maturity. Winemakers found a balance between freshness and complexity in their second vintage, a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc.
Vineyards: Adong, Shuori, Sinong, Xidang
Grape Varieties: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc
Tasting Note: Scents of red fruit, leather, mint, cedar, cinnamon and liquorice develop on the nose – truly complex. The complementary fruit and mineral flavours in this blend are reminiscent of wild raspberries, peony, seaweed and graphite. Dry and medium-to-full-bodied, it reveals a polished tannic structure.
Ao Yun 2014 is displayed in a magnificent branded wooden box (as shown in the bottom left picture).
Cellar Master: Maxence Dulou
Winery Location: Adong | Himalayan Mountains, China
Annual Production (bottles): 24,000
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He ended up in the north-western region of Yunnan province, adjoining Tibet, where Jesuit missionaries had planted vines in the 19th century. In 2002, the local Chinese government helped farmers in 25 or so Tibetan villages on the steep slopes above the Mekong River plant Cabernet vines as a way to diversify their crops. Moët Hennessy selected four villages, two on each side of the river, at elevations from 7,200 to 8,500 feet, for their grape potential.
The 320 plots of vines the company controls are interspersed with rows of tomato and occasional hashish plants. Moët Hennessy has a 50-year lease on the vineyards, a partnership with Chinese baijiu producer VATS. The closest major city is Shangri-La, named for the peaceful utopia in the novel Lost Horizon. With its fantastic potential, rich culture and breath-taking landscapes, the Yunnan region in the Himalayan foothills was the ideal location for this initiative. Some 300 hectares of vines were planted by Chinese authorities in 2002. Moët Hennessy and estate director Maxence Dulou embarked on the bold challenge of developing a French grape variety that had never been grown at 2,600 meters.
Thanks to the altitude, the climate is dry and cool, but because of shadows from the mountains, there's sunlight only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The growing cycle is 160 days from flowering to harvest, longer than the 120 in Bordeaux. Local farmers have worked these lands for centuries, building terraces on the steep mountainsides. Guided by this artisanal culture with a deep respect for nature, Ao Yun has been developed from small parcels of vines, totalling 30 hectares in around four villages. The grape harvest and production is done by hand by residents of the villages.
Ao Yun means "flying above the clouds", a reference to the clouds that cap the summits of the Himalayan mountains. Reinventing the concept of luxury, the estate's first wine, the 2013 vintage, is a truly exceptional and rare experience.