The wine: At the foot of the Himalayas, the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH has embarked on an adventure at 2,600 metres above sea level: the production of the company’s first Asian wine – Ao Yun. The name means “flying above the clouds” or “sacred cloud”. The wine is an assemblage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The grapes were harvested in the vineyards of Shangri-La in south-western Yunnan province. The wine’s launch was so successful that Ao Yun is already being traded on the electronic exchange for fine wine (Liv-ex).
The story: For almost a century, the fictional place of Shangri-La existed only in the imagination of the British writer James Hilton. His 1933 novel “Lost Horizon” tells of an earthly paradise deep in the Himalayan mountains that few people have ever seen. The creation of Ao Yun has revived this mythical place.
The taste: The higher the vineyard, the greater its exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This causes grapes to grow a thicker skin with more colour and an intense flavour. It also increases the wine’s aging ability. Ao Yun is a powerful wine, loaded with black fruit, and richly structured with firm, silky tannins.
Chandra Kurt, who lives in Zurich, is one of Switzerland’s best-known writers on wine. She has published numerous books on the subject and her own quarterly “Weinseller Journal”. She also works as a wine consultant.
For more recommendations visit: Chandra Kurts Wineseller Journal.
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