The world leading luxury group is embarking on a new adventure in China, more precisely near the iconic city of Shangri-La, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Ao Yun, meaning "that flies above the clouds", was created in 2013 and is made from several vineyards located between 2,200 and 2,600 metres above sea level. Very limited amounts are produced, making it a rare wine that is paving the way for premium Chinese wines.
With a total surface area of 28 hectares, the Ao Yun vineyard is divided into 314 parcels, rented to 120 families and spread across 4 villages in the Upper part of Mekong, China. Due to the altitude, the exposure of the plots and the great diversity and soil typology, each village offers a texture that add to this wine’s richness. In 2016, 900 subplots were identified and grouped into thirty distinct terroirs. When it comes to the production of this exceptional wine, excellence is a constant concern. The grapes of the 2017 vintage have benefited from higher sun exposure as well as the installation of higher canopies, allowing the water to evaporate better.
2015 marks the birth of one of Ao Yun's greatest years since its first vintage in 2013. An exceptional year, 2015 is one of the hottest vintages and lead to high wine production.
Providing all the key elements, these weather conditions lead to a superb harvest of perfectly ripe fruit. Ao Yun's 2015 vintage also reflects the efforts made by the technical team under Maxence Dulou’s direction, who has learned to tame this unique and singular terroir.
The vinification and ageing
Located at 2,600 metres above sea level and in order to compensate for the lack of oxygen due to the vineyard’s high altitude, malolactic fermentation was carried out in oak barrels as well as in clay pots, which are buried in the soil. During vinification, oxygen was added in order to compensate for the 25% loss of oxygen compared to sea level. Ao Yun 2015 was then aged for 12 months in oak barrels, 40% of which were new.
Ao Yun 2015 comprises a blend dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon (79%), complemented by Cabernet Franc (21%). Ao Yun 2015 is made from grapes harvested in the terraced villages of Shuori, Adong, Sinong and Xidang, located at the foot of the sacred Meili Snow Mountain in the Himalayan region of China.
The colour is deep and dark.
Intensely expressive, the aromatic bouquet opens with smoky, woody notes of sandalwood and incense. Notes of red berries then appear, evolving into a rich palette of strawberry, cherry and raspberry scents.
The palate is wrapped by this wine’s voluptuousness and roundness. Beautiful spicy notes mingle with dense and polished tannins. The finish is persistent and elegant, revealing delicious mineral and salty notes. An outstanding Chinese wine in an exceptional vintage.