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DAOU Vineyards Soul of a Lion 2015

Bordeaux Red Blends from Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • JD97
  • WE96
  • V95
  • RP94
  • WS93
14.7% ABV
  • WE96
  • V95
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • RP96
  • WW94
  • WS90
  • WE95
  • CG94
  • RP93
  • WW92
  • WS92
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14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2015 Soul of a Lion is a beautifully concentrated wine accompanied by tremendous elegance that incorporates some old world flavors due to the vintage’s characteristics. Endowed with beautiful purity and texture, it has all the standard classic Cabernet Sauvignon flavors that include Graphite, Lead Pencil Shavings, Blackcurrants and Ash. The higher percentage of Cabernet Franc in this vintage gives it a beautiful aroma and an additional elegant component that rounds it up for a very long finish. Drinking surprising well today, we expect it to shut down shortly for a few years just to be re-awakened for long term cellaring.

Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 11% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Soul of a Lion is a blockbuster, and one of the finest wines from this estate to date. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in new barrel, it offers a Bordeaux-like bouquet (it reminds me of a great vintage of Leoville Las Cases) of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, spice, and cedar. Rich, full-bodied, layered, and powerful, it’s beautifully balanced and has no hard edges. Hide bottles for 2-3 years and enjoy over the following two decades.
Rating: 97+
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Intense aromas of smoke, black currant and crushed purple flowers make for an impressive entry to this blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and 11% Petit Verdot. The palate combines the tang of plum skin and dimpled berries with flavors of peppercorn, violet and gravelly minerality.
V 95
Vinous
(100% new French oak) Inky ruby. Highly expressive, oak-spiced cherry, black currant and floral pastille aromas are complemented by suggestions of vanilla and licorice. Sweet, seamless and broad on the palate, offering intense dark berry, cherry-vanilla and spicecake flavors and a building mocha note. Shows outstanding focus and appealing sweetness on the strikingly long, juicy finish, which features repeating spiciness, a sexy floral quality and slow-building tannins.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This barrel sample of 2015 Soul Of A Lion is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and 11% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it offers up a nose of crème de cassis, mocha, dusty soil and spice box. The rich, medium to full-bodied palate is all earthy/meaty/gamey at this primary stage, rich with firm, chewy tannins and finishing long with lovely expression. (92-94)
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Rich and firm, with a solid core of dark berry, plum, blueberry and blackberry flavors that fan out evenly on the palate, ending with a burst of melted black licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2030.
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DAOU Vineyards

DAOU Vineyards

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DAOU Vineyards, Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Video of winery

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.

Adelaida District

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Covering the Santa Lucia Range in the northwestern portion of the greater Paso Robles appellation, the Adelaida District AVA reaches from 900 feet to over 2,000 feet in elevation. The appellation does well with Rhone and Bordeaux varieties as well as Zinfandel.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

SWS909177_2015 Item# 430372