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Ao Yun

Ao Yun

Ao Yun

Vintage
Regular price $430.00 SGD
Regular price Sale price $430.00 SGD
On Sale Sold out
Includes GST

Grape Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot, and Petit Verdot

Country & Region: China | Yunnan

Alcohol Level (%): 14.5 - 15

Bottle Size: 750ml

2018

Wine Advocate 95: In what follows, I offer two tasting notes for the 2018 Ao Yun, the first from tasting the latest vintage release in bottle at the winery in May 2021—before it was released—and the second tasted much closer to sea level in Beijing in December 2021. The consistency in quality across bottles tasted at very different altitudes speaks well for the 2018 Ao Yun's overall quality and future development.

James Suckling 98: I love the depth and complexity of the nose, which brings you down deeply into the wine, showing blackberry, ink, tar, earth, incense, cloves, and black licorice. Thyme, too. The purity of the fruit, including cassis, is the real thing. This is full-bodied, but remains so fresh and vertical on the palate. The tannins are so fine and integrated, producing a millefeuille-like layering of tannin and cool, blue fruit. Incredible wine. The greatest wine made in China so far. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 19% cabernet franc, 10% merlot, 7% syrah and 4% petit verdot. 26,000 bottles made.

Decanter 96: Gorgeously seductive nose, this is rich and abundant, aromas bursting out the glass, smells sweet and spicy, five spice fragrance with sweet blackcurrant and black cherry aromas. Mouthcoating and invigorating on the palate, totally harmonious and balanced with the salinity and wet stone nuances coming through backed by ripe, but so well defined, fruit flavors. Such purity on both the nose and palate. This is seriously refined, aromatics are preserved, balancing power with excellent acidity, so you get these bright and energetic flavours but still with structure. Seductive but this also has a sense of classicism. Lovely saline elements and cooling touch at the end with all the flavours lingering long in the mouth. Will be interesting to see how it ages.

2019

Wine Advocate 96: The 2019 Ao Yun has an intensely deep purple appearance. On the nose, there is already appealing, immensely powerful dark fruit showing abundant cassis, black cherry, bramble, blackberry and blueberry fruit with some subtle, leafy herbaceous character (sage, green bell pepper, mint) combining with very well-integrated new oak notes of vanilla, clove, toast and smoke (note that Ao Yun only sees around 35% new French barriques with the remainder being matured in stoneware vessels and old oak). On the palate, the wine is immensely full-bodied but far from heavy, with vibrant acidity and very coating, ripe, fine-grained and polished tannins. Dulou reports that this was the first vintage when the entire harvest was gravity-fed through their winemaking facility in Adong with much gentler crushing resulting in partially opened berries retaining seeds inside (even through to racking the wine off gross lees). He also now opts to ferment in narrow, higher-filled vessels, which results in easier cap management, a less-aerated cap with less thermal variation. All of which helps explain the refinement and integration of tannin in the 2019. There is a scintillating core of complex fruit, herbaceous character and subtle new oak notes that are harmoniously integrated. With its very long length, the 2019 Ao Yun is unsurprisingly very youthful and will show better from 2023 at the earliest, even if it can already be appreciated.

James Suckling 98: 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.

Decanter 96: 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.

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