ROUNDED AND FRESH
Ao Yun’s first vintage delivers all the finesse, freshness and complexity of this unique Himalayan terroir through its layered aromas and captivating, penetrating flavours.
The first taste of this Himalayan terroir had a winter that was warm and dry, a cool spring with more rain than usual, and a summer with standard temperatures, with more rain than average years.
For this first vintage we had to manage by observation. It required long and meticulous work to start to understand our complex terroir and adapt the handcraft to each soil type and climate.
STRUCTURED AND WILD
Ao Yun 2014 is the 2nd vintage of this unique adventure and shows more complexity than 2013 due to better climate conditions during the growing season and vineyard management optimization.
With slightly warmer and drier winter, followed by warmer and drier spring and ended by average temperature and slightly more rain in summer, the 2014 vintage was Ao Yun earliest and smallest harvest.
In these conditions all 4 villages performed extremely well to reach our objectives of finesse, freshness and elegance.
We did a soil study with a French terroir expert to identify blocks with similar soil that could be managed similarly and together.
VOLUPTUOUS AND SPICY
While we are discovering this unique Himalayan terroir every day, we can already say that 2015, in terms of climate, is the greatest vintage since we started to produce wine in this area in 2013.
The year 2015 started warm, with a slightly dry winter, followed by a spring that was warmer and drier than usual, with average temperatures and less rain in the summer. In these conditions, and because Ao Yun looks for elegance, freshness and complexity in its wines, the villages of Adong and Shuori performed exceptionally well.
During 2015, our observations of the land allowed us to refine our vineyard management. We further subdivided our 314 blocks and created maps to depict our observations, which help us to be more accurate in our vineyard management.
PERSISTENT, EXOTIC: THE REBIRTH
2016 was marked by an end of season particularly conducive to optimal ripening. The year started with a drier and cooler winter than average, followed by a much rainier and cooler spring until early summer and ended with significantly drier and warmer summer and fall.
In 2016, Ao Yun finetuned its meticulous approach to tasting and blending. After three vintages, the team understood that the altitude of the Adong winery had an impact on taste perception so, in 2016, they decided the exact proportions of each terroir in the final blend through tastings at sea level in Hong Kong for the very first time.
Also, for the first time, 4% of Syrah and 2% of Petit Verdot wine have been added to the blend for complexity and elegance on the palate and nose.
The 2016 vintage is marked by the use of fewer new oak and more 1-year-old barrels, which impart finesse and avoid the overpowering qualities that can arise from too much new oak.
CONCENTRATED BUT FRESH & VELVETY: THE ENHANCEMENT
2017 was marked by the most challenging climate so far in Ao Yun’s journey:
A dry and warm winter followed by a cool spring that delayed the growth of the vines. The summer that was cool and too wet. At the beginning of fall, Ao Yun fortunately had a crucial window of 1 month with higher temperatures than average, that helped ripen the grapes.
This season’s climate and the optimized ways of working in the vineyard gave to Ao Yun, a generous harvest with very powerful and beautifully mature grapes.
To reach Ao Yun’s very high-quality standard, the team had to optimize a lot of process and worked very hard and accurately in the vineyard, and in the cellar. Also in 2017, the Ao Yun team had to refine their tannin extraction during the winemaking: during malolactic fermentation and barrel ageing, they increased natural micro-oxygenation to soften their powerful texture.
For the very first time, 2% of Merlot has been added, which brought roundness to the final blend.