94 Points, 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.
The most exciting thing for me was that the oak influence on most of the samples was minimal. What I was tasting was wines most influenced by the pure vineyard characters. They were fully ripe but extremely well balanced with real, confident, unique personalities of their own. – Jancis Robinson, MW, JancisRobinson.com
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)