Yan Toh Heen Presents an Exclusive Moët Hennessey Wine Dinner Showcasing AO YUN Vintage 2013
Wednesday, June 28

On June 28, wine lovers are in for a treat with an exclusive Wine Dinner at InterContinental Hong Kong’s 2-Michelin star Cantonese restaurant Yan Toh Heen showcasing Moët Hennessey’s recently released first vintage Ao Yun 2013 from vineyards in the remote Northwest corner of China’s Yunnan Province in the UNESCO World Heritage region of the “Three Parallel Rivers – the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong and Salween. This exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon is produced at the foothills of the Himalayas from the high altitude vines of Adong, Sinong, Xidang and Shuori in the Mekong Valley.

“Ao Yun” means “roaming above the clouds”, thus paying homage to the mountain eyrie that overlooks the four villages in which the wine is made. It celebrates the birthplace of the legendary and mystical Shangri-La, imagined in 1933 by James Hilton in his novel “Lost Horizon” – a fabled place that has become synonymous with “heaven on earth” and as  a place of purity and happiness.

The first Ao Yun Vintage 2013 is made in the most classic Bordeaux red blend with 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Only 24,000 bottles are available globally. The wine was released to the United States market in mid-2016 at a retail price of US$250 per bottle and was quickly listed on the fine wine market “Live-Ex”, making it the first made-in-China wine to do so.

Don’t miss the chance to try this exclusive vintage wine paired with an 8-course Cantonese feast that also includes 2006 Dom Pérignon, 2016 Cloudy Bay Te Koko, Marlborough, New Zealand  and 2008 Château d'Yquem, Bordeaux, France) at  HK$1,888 + 10% service per person.  

Mr. Jean-Guillaume Prats, President and CEO of Estates & Wines at Moët Hennessy, will personally introduce the first vintage of Ao Yun to our Yan Toh Heen guests.

The menu includes:
·        2006 Dom Pérignon Champagne served with Yan Toh Heen King Crab Salad and Baked Langoustine and Turnip in Puff Pastry
·        2016 Cloudy Bay Te Koko, Marlborough, New Zealand served with Pan-seared Sea Bass with Bean Paste and  Simmered King Crab Legs in Supreme Broth
·        2013 Ao Yun, Yunnan, China served with Wagyu Beef served in Two Styles:  Stewed Turnip and Wagyu Beef Cheek in Port Wine Sauce and Wok-fried Wagyu Beef with Green Peppers, Mushrooms and Garlic…followed by Stewed Chilled Buck Wheat Noodles with Sesame Spicy Sauce
·        2008 Château d'Yquem, Bordeaux, France served with Fresh Honeycomb with Dried Fruit Cheese Cake

Please click here for the Ao Yun Wine Dinner Menu.

About Ao Yun Wine

Ao Yun, made in the remote highlands of the legendary Shangri-La in Yunnan Province, was created from Moët Hennessy CEO Christophe Navarre’s belief that China had the potential to make great wine. Navarre had a vision that somewhere in China’s sprawling landscape, there was terroir uniquely suited for top quality winemaking. He commissioned Australian oenologist Tony Jordan – also CEO of Cape Mentelle, Cloudy Bay, and Domaine Chandon – for a three year exploration of China to find such a region.

China already had a history of making wine. Considering the country’s vastness, inevitably there would be a region within the temperate latitudes that would be well-suited for growing wine grapes. Wine has been made in China as early as 7000BC. While most of the production has been dedicated for the domestic market, some wine made in the Chinese provinces of Xinjiang and Ningxia has already gained some international recognition.

Jordan ultimately found his way to Yunnan Province where he stumbled upon the villages of Adong, Xidang, Sinong and Shouri, located at the foothills of the Himalayas. The continental climate there was reminiscent of maritime Bordeaux, although it was hundreds of miles away from the nearest large body of water.  Jordan actually discovered grape vines scattered all around these villages growing alongside food crops. He later found out that these vines, which were mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and some Cabernet Franc, had been initially planted by Jesuit missionaries in the late 1800s, most probably for making sacramental wine.

The logistical challenges of actually making wine in this area proved to stretch even Moët Hennessy’s resources and patience. Jean-Guillaume Prats, President and CEO of Estates & Wines at Moët Hennessy, who has visited the winery over 14 times since it started, recounted the difficulty in transporting essential equipment over long and winding mountain roads. Some crucial equipment did not arrive in time for the harvest, and there wasn’t a reliable supply of electricity.

Another huge challenge was getting talent to relocate there; nobody really wanted to live in an area where only the most basic amenities were available. The locals were full of zeal and willing to learn, but they were hampered by the lack of winemaking knowledge and language challenges. Moët Hennessy sent winemaker Maxence Dulou, who was born and raised in le Sauternais and trained on classic Bordeaux winemaking techniques, to be based in Shangri-La, while arranging for a translator on-site to translate instructions in Chinese into the local dialect.

Despite all the challenges, Prats realised that they were onto to something special when British wine writer and critic Jancis Robinson, MW visited the remote winery and was full of praise. “What I tasted were wines most influenced by the pure vineyard characters,” she wrote.

Tasting Notes

Ao Yun has an intense, deep dark colour. It has several layers of aromas that develop subtly, intertwining and evolving during the tasting: intense red fruit, cassis, cherry which evolve to dark currant, spices, mint, tea leaves, mild tobacco. On the palate, there is an exuberant ripe red fruit, cherry stone, with a touch of spiciness, mild tobacco and minerality, with captivating and penetrating flavours. The wine is light with fine, supple and silky tannins. It has a lingering red fruit finish with very precise, chiseled tannins. Ao Yun is a very harmonious, sophisticated and delicate wine with a long finish. Complexity, freshness, elegance and subtle tannins make up the unique character of this new Himalayan terroir, which Ao Yun 2013 expresses for the first time.

 

 

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