DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This entry-level Cabernet Sauvignon is the only Cabernet in the Daou portfolio made entirely of purchased fruit and is intended to be drunk young. The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is made up of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged 11 months in 60% new French oak. Deep ruby-purple, it opens with pure crème de cassis and meaty touches, slow to unfurl, over pure blackberries, cedar and dried thyme. Medium to full-bodied, it explodes with flavor in the mouth, purely defined but very ripe, with a very finely grained frame and a youthful cloaking of new oak, finishing long, fresh and classy.
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.
As Paso Robles, California has soared in number of wineries and gained in popularity, Cabernet Sauvignon has firmly taken root as the region’s number one varietal. Alone, it accounts for just over 40% of plantings and is grown throughout both the western and eastern sides of the appellation. Though viticulture here dates back to the 18th century, Cabernet Sauvignon didn’t emerge as a significant grape here until the 1970’s. But since then it has definitely made up for lost time.
Legendary winemaker and consultant Andre Tchelistcheff first recognized Paso’s potential with Cabernet Sauvignon in the early 1960’s. The calcareous soil and dramatic diurnal temperature changes of Paso’s westside particularly intrigued him. Today modern winemaking techniques and focused experimentation with various clones, rootstocks and vineyard strategies optimize the region's ideal combination of soil and climate to deliver the best fruit possible.
The results are evident in the glass. Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon can be mesmerizing, with rich aromas and flavors of blackberry, cassis, black cherry, graphite, toasty oak, vanilla and spice. The structure, balance and unbridled opulence of these wines impress from first sip to last. Not surprisingly, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignons have steadily grown in reputation, not just in the U.S., but around the world.