DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon has heady aromatics that affirm this is a serious wine for serious wine lovers. This wine displays black cherry, Zante currant, plum and blackberry up front, complemented by dark chocolate, tobacco leaf and cool menthol. Rounding out the nose are aromas of black olives, briarwood, fig, and dried thyme. Bold and assertive on the palate with flavors initially dominated by dark fruits, Bing cherries, black raspberry, plum, and pomegranate, accompanied by high note accents of cranberries and rhubarb. Midpalate delivers espresso and dried herbs with hints of fennel and cigar box all seamlessly integrated together on a structure of very fine grain, plush and ripe tannins. A wine of complexity and depth with a purity of fruit and subtle layers of flavors and texture that harmonize and enhance. This wine constitutes a journey of the senses that begins with power and finishes with elegance and style.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Deep shimmering ruby. An expansive bouquet displays scents of ripe cherry, cassis, incense and vanilla, and a spicy nuance adds energetic lift. Stains the palate with dark fruit liqueur and floral pastille flavors, while a spine of juicy acidity adds tight focus. Youthfully firm tannins build through the penetrating, clinging finish, which repeats the dark fruit and floral qualities. Raised in new French oak barrels for 20 months.
Possibly the finest vintage to date from this cuvée, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate comes all from the estate on the westside of Paso and was brought up in new barrels. Rock star notes of crème de cassis, spicy oak, chocolate, and graphite all flow to a full-bodied Cabernet that has sweet tannins and beautiful balance. It’s already terrific, but I suspect it will be even better with 2-3 years of bottle age. Rating: 93+
Barrel Sample: 90-92
In the golden, oak-studded hills of Paso Robles' fabled west side, not far from William Randolph Hearst's magnificent castle, there is a man with a Homeric vision. His name is Daniel Daou and he is devoting his life and every imaginable resource to creating, first and foremost, a Cabernet Sauvignon that rivals the very best in the world.
Gracefully perched atop a stunning promontory at 2,200 feet, the DAOU Spanish Colonial style winery is embraced by a tangible serenity. Hawks wheel and bank while the all-day sun caresses close planted rows of lush, emerald green vines. The 100 percent calcareous soil makes no sound as it passes out nourishment and only a gentle breeze flows up through the Templeton Gap from the Pacific. The quiet is bewitching; you want to lay down roots here, just as the four-year-old vines have done. But the sense of peace belies the serious industry at work on this 100 acre estate. No effort is spared to create the luscious varietals and blends that flow from this limited production winery. This kind of synergy happens rarely: superlative climate and terroir, super intensive vineyard culture, and cutting edge viticultural practice. You're more likely to find it in Bordeaux than Central California. Coupled with the infectious passion and gracious, family style hospitality of the Daou brothers, Georges and Daniel, the result is pure magic. The kind of magic that comes in a bottle.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.