Yao Ming Introduces Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Yao Ming, recently retired NBA star, owner of the Shanghai Sharks and humanitarian, announced today the establishment of his new Napa Valley wine company: Yao Family Wines. The company has released its inaugural wine under the brand name YAO MING®, a 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Yao Family Wines crafts world-class wines from Napa Valley, and we look forward to introducing wine lovers in China to this remarkable wine growing region,” said Yao Ming. “I believe that wine can bring people together, and make our lives more enjoyable. Basketball gave me the opportunity to live in the United States and discover many wonderful things in America. Now I look forward to bringing great wines from California back to the Chinese people.”

Yao Family Wines sources the grapes for its YAO MING® Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from prestigious Napa Valley vineyards with a reputation for excellent fruit. Director of Winemaking, Tom Hinde, notes “We work throughout the growing season to ensure low grape yield, rich flavors and optimum ripeness in the fruit to fully express the extraordinary terroir of Napa Valley. We hand harvest from individual blocks and use artisan techniques throughout the winemaking process to allow the character of the vineyards to speak in the wines.” The wines are aged exclusively in 100% French Oak barrels for at least 18 months. Individual barrels from each lot are hand selected by taste for the final blend.

The label for the YAO MING® 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was designed by Chuck House, the celebrated California wine label designer. It features a hand-drawn illustration of Napa Valley with the ancient Chinese character for “Yao,” elegantly representing both cultures in which Yao Ming has made his home.

Yao Family Wines has appointed Pernod Ricard China as its sole and exclusive importer and distributor of the YAO MING® wines in mainland China. “We are very proud to be the strategic partner of Yao Family Wines and introduce YAO MING® wines to Chinese consumers,” said Con Constandis, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard China. “Though we are a global company, we have strong local roots in China which makes this strategic partnership with a man like Yao Ming as special as the quality wines themselves.”

The YAO MING® 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is available in China immediately and will be available in the United States in 2012. For more information, please visit the Yao Family Wines website at www.yaofamilywines.com

2009 Yao Ming® Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - Appearance exhibits a rich ruby hue. Aromas are forward and elegant with red fruit depth and flavors of cherry, blackberry and cassis with hints of spice, mineral, slate and violet hints that lead to vanilla tones. On the palate the wine is austere and concentrated with supple tannins and balanced acidity. This wine will age gracefully, and can be enjoyed for many years to come.