One of the tallest players of his era, when NBA superstar Yao Ming always came to play against my Seattle Supersonics we always knew that we would have trouble with his massive size. I attended hundreds of Sonics games in my youth, following some amazing teams with Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. The Houston Rockets, one of their main rivals, drafted a relatively untested center named Yao Ming in 2002 with the first pick in the NBA draft. This became a serious coup for the Rockets and a huge challenge for other NBA centers to deal with Yao’s offensive and defensive abilities — and his 7’7’’ frame. Yao became an NBA sensation and one of the best players in the league, finally retiring after a series of injuries in 2011.
Yao saw a great opportunity in launching Yao Family Wines that same year. Yao Family Wines sources from a host of great Napa Valley vineyards. The grapes are fermented and then aged up to 18 months in 100% French oak barrels and the best lots are then chosen for the final blend. The wines were beautiful across the board from this exciting 2016 vintage in the Napa Valley. Look to the outstanding 2016 Yao Family Wines ‘Family Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 94) which has insane aging potential and offers gobs of decadent dark fruits with a gorgeous core and mineral backbone. Learn more about these stunning new wines at yaofamilywines.com Here are the new wines by Yao Family Wines.
2016 Yao Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2016 Yao Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon was soured from a host of Napa Valley vineyards ranging from their bench land site in Yountville to Northern St. Helena. The wine is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that weighs in at 14.6% alcohol. Classic creme de cassis, red bell pepper, thyme and suggestions of cocoa powder with dusty terroir complete the gorgeous aromatics of the wine. The palate is soft and generous, creating a silky texture and a racy sense of acidity. Black Forest Cake, creme de cassis and mocha flavors all marvelously combine with the bright sense of mentality on the palate. Dense, layered and highly polished, this silky effort will cellar well at least for another fifteen years. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2016 Yao Family Wines ‘Family Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2016 Yao Family Wines ‘Family Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon is a barrel selection Cabernet Sauvignon (97%) wine with 3% Petit Verdot that is a scintillating effort by the talented Tom Hinde. The highly perfumed aromatics really entice with mocha, blueberry cordial, blackberry compote, black tea and exotic spices which all take shape in the glass. There is a seamless quality to this wine as it deftly glides across the mid-palate. Bright acidity and a silky texture awaits, with deep dark fruit flavors, with mocha, creme de cassis and shades of black licorice that all meld together on the palate. This is sensational in its youth and will continue to evolve well for decades. Drink 2020-2040- 95