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Ao Yun Shangri-La 2013

Bordeaux Red Blends from China
  • D94
  • WW93
  • JS93
  • RP93
750ML / 14.8% ABV
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  • JS94
  • WE93
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4.7 6 Ratings
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4.7 6 Ratings
750ML / 14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Complexity, freshness, elegance and subtle tannins make up the unique character of this new Himalayan terroir, which Ao Yun 2013 expresses for the first time. Intense, deep dark color followed by several layers of aromas which develop subtly, intertwine and evolve during the tasting Intense red fruit, cassis, cherry which evolve to dark currant, spices, mint, tea leaves, mild tobacco. On the palate, exuberant ripe red fruit, cherry stone, with a certain spiciness mild tobacco and minerality, with captivating and penetrating flavors. The wine is light with fine, supple and silky tannins. Persistent red fruit finish with very precise, chiseled tannins. Very harmonious, sophisticated, delicate wine with a long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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D 94
Decanter
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.
WW 93
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The 2013 Ao Yun Red wine from the Yunnan Province—the first ultra-premium Chinese wine I have tasted—is quite amazing. What were my expectations? Whenever I taste wines from regions which I have never experienced before, I approach the moment with caution. This wine came to the marketplace with lots of excitement, but I did not want the publicity to cloud my judgement. This wine shows an alluring fragrance of red currants and flowers. On the palate, it brings elegance and pleasing sweet tannins to the fore. The wine's flavors, reminiscent of the Right Bank of Bordeaux or perhaps Sonoma Mountain in California, stay in the red fruit, savory spice, and forest floor areas of the flavor wheel. This Yunnan Province red is indeed a remarkable first attempt. Ao Yung means “flying above the clouds” and refers to the clouds that cap the summits of the Himalayan mountains. This wine is just beginning to open up, and will require a few years of bottle age before it reveals its true essence. It marks the beginning of what could become a wine growing region of significant international importance. (Tasted: August 24, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
JS 93
James Suckling
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.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This 2013 Ao Yun is a new star of China! The vineyard is backed by LVMH in Shangri-La, at the edge of the Himalayas. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates this wine with 90%, the other 10% is Cabernet Franc. 2013 is the first vintage. It is opaque, with a very deep ruby color. Elegant and restrained in style, it reveals scents of bell pepper, blackcurrant, prune and blackberry with subtle hints of dark chocolate, clove, tobacco and licorice. Refreshing on the palate, full-bodied and with very silky tannins, it has great concentration, perfect structure and a very long finish.
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Ao Yun was born from a vision to create something that truly elevates the soul. A life-enhancing, world-class wine– completely new, yet timeless.

Grapes grown in ancient soil; a terroir steeped in history and tradition. A place that honours the quiet dignity of humans working at one with nature. A high plateau nestled among the Himalayan peaks, reaching for dreams in the sky, grounded by the hallowed earth. A wine shaped by generations of precious knowledge blended with forward-thinking, worldly attitudes.

Ao Yun means "flying above the clouds" or "roaming above the clouds." The name refers to the thick, wandering clouds of this incredible region and celebrates the birthplace of the legend of Shangri-La. Hidden paradise among the Himalayan Mountains. The vineyards are located just below the sacred Meili Mountain at altitudes soaring to 8,530 feet in height, to allow the Cabernet Sauvignon to give its finest expression of a unique terroir. Ao Yun is made from 314 blocks on 68.4ac of vineyards. All viniculture processes are conducted entirely by hand.

Ao Yun celebrates the visionary, the iconoclastic, the brave and the singular. Our continuous quest to reimagine what’s possible defines the very notion of luxury — extraordinary, exceptional and rare.

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The wine world is vast and constantly expanding. With shifts in climate, fashion, trands and technology, new regions are constantly developing. Through research and experimentation enologists and winemakers continue to develop an understanding of which varieties work best on which vineyard sites. Often, since these regions have yet to gain worldwide popularity, they are great sources for the savvy consumer looking to try something new and interesting at a budget-friendly price.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

CGM34120_2013 Item# 162166