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Ao Yun 2016
The Himalayan Original
Ao Yun, meaning “roaming above the clouds”, is the first Estate wine from the Himalayas. This fourth vintage of premium Chinese wine incorporates not only Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, but Syrah and Petit Verdot grapes for a new level of complexity.
TASTING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR
New fermentation processes using less oak and more year-old barrels gives this wine an honest, heartfelt taste, even more so than the earlier vintages. The Ao Yun 2016 combines scents of cedar wood, smoke, and exotic fruit with red berries. Persistent, elegant, it presents on the tongue as dense in tannins while retaining a pronounced softness. The blend is fresh but complex, with a long, slightly salty mineral finish.
This wine, with its tempered blend of grape varieties, is best swirled in a decanter and left to sit for ten minutes after opening. After that short wait, it makes for a unique food pairing experience, going marvelously with the heat and spice of Szechuan or even Indonesian dishes. The wider the range of spices used, the more exotic the combinations, the more the elaborate notes of the Ao Yun appear to advantage. The inherent freshness in its finish also make it a fine companion to fish, whether sashimi or full-grilled. Be bold, this is a wine that dares you to try it with just about anything.
DEFYING ALL ODDS
Chinese winemaking has long been considered a pipe dream. But that did not stop the vineyard, spread over four villages in the Himalayas, each with their own variations of grapes and their own inherent subtleties, from making the most of this distinctive range of terroirs. It took four years to reach the 2016 vintage, their most complex yet. And many more are to come.
Store in a cool dry place.