AO YUN Shangri-La 敖云云南香格里拉 2018 (With Gift Box)


“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. 26,000 bottles made. Drinkable now, but will be so much better in four or five years.” – James Suckling

“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. Drinking Window 2029 – 2045” – Decanter

Grape: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 7% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot

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Wine has been produced in China since the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD).

China’s “first modern winery” Changyu was founded in 1892 in Shandong province near the treaty port of Chefoo (now called Yantai) by the overseas Chinese entrepreneur Zhang Bishi.

Although long overshadowed by huangjiu (sometimes translated as “yellow wine”) and the much stronger distilled spirit baijiu, wine (葡萄酒 pútáojiǔ lit. “grape alcohol”) consumption & production have grown dramatically since the economic reforms of the 1980s.

Thanks to its immense territory and favorable climates, China is the largest grape producer worldwide, contributing to nearly half of the world’s grape production. When it comes to viticulture, it also has the third-largest vineyard area worldwide.

Notable wine-producing regions include Beijing, Yantai, Zhangjiakou in Hebei, Yibin in Sichuan, Tonghua in Jilin, Taiyuan in Shanxi, and Ningxia. The largest producing region is Yantai-Penglai; with over 140 wineries, it produces 40% of China’s wine.

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Ao Yun

Ao Yun is the fruit of an exceptional adventure that pushes the frontiers in winemaking, by creating a wine estate in a previously unexplored terroir. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, near the legendary city of Shangri-La, Ao Yun vineyards range in altitude from 2,200 to 2,600 meters.

Around half of the current 27 hectares under vine were planted on ungrafted rootstock in 2000. These older vines are exclusively Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. In 2013 Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah and more Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc were planted by the Moët Hennessy team, this time on grafted rootstock.

To respect time-honored local tradition, the grape harvest and winemaking are done entirely by hand. The Ao Yun terroir enjoys exceptional climatic conditions, with temperatures similar to those of Bordeaux. Ao Yun means “flying above the clouds”, a reference to the clouds that cap the summits of the surrounding mountain chains.

The history of Chinese viticulture, as Ao Yun 2018 becomes the first Chinese grand cru to be released through the Bordeaux négociant system.