2013 Ao Yun, China (Pre-Arrival)
A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, this is a bold, dramatic and compelling debut wine from winemaker Maxence Dulou. Particularly impressive is the strong sense and imprint of place which is partially revealed by its saturated colour, exquisite ripeness, silky, grainy tannins and exciting freshness. The palate also provides sweet black and red cherry fruit overlaid with cool graphite, camphor as well as notes of juniper, pepper and cumin. Most surprising of all is the 15.1% alcohol which is both balanced and well hidden in the texture and freshness. It’s difficult to predict how long the wine will age and develop. But all the elements are there for a long and happy life.
Aromas of blackberry, blueberry and olives. Hints of bark and mushroom. Currants. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a beautiful finish. A lovely dark fruit undertone. Minerally and very fine. Made of Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Cabernet Franc. This is 28 hectares in total. The vines have 10 years. It’s all handmade. Beautiful structure and depth. This is a wine that really impresses with all the finesse and quality of tannins. Goes on for minutes. Better in 2020 but so fine now.
"Proud Cloud" in Tibetan. This is the first vintage and it is quite good. A Bordeaux blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Grown at 8000 feet in the Himalayas and only 50 miles from Burma. It is a nine-hour jeep drive from Shanri-La. The air is so thin that fermentation is quite an effort. But the wine is very good and exceptionally rare. Recently praised by the Washington Post's David McIntyre: "The 2013 Ao Yun, the wine to be released in September, is Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 10% Cabernet Franc. It is supple and energetic, carrying deep black-fruit flavors and a refreshing acidity that disguises its rather high (15%) alcohol by volume. I tasted my sample two hours after decanting over the next two days; it was ripe and lush, yet without the fatness and overripe flavors that afflict so many high-end New World Cabernets. And it kept getting better — a sign of a lively wine that should have a long life. It lived up to its name, and its story." (7/2/2016) And Food & Wine's Ray Isle was also impressed: "To cut to the chase, the 2013 Ao Yun red tastes pretty damn impressive." (6/30/2016)