DAOU Vineyards Soul of a Lion 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Aromas of coffee bean, charred meat, blackberry and toast show on the nose of this blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. There is compelling density to the palate, which offers flavors of espresso, cocoa, charred toast and blackberry.
Super dark with a ton of bitter chocolate and cocoa powder, plus smoke and a hint of gunpowder. This has a great balance of full, powdery tannins and earthy power. Long, really complex finish. You could drink this now, but if you wait until at least 2021, it will give even more pleasure.
10% Cabernet Franc; 4% Petit Verdot. Dense and extracted with an abundance of very ripe fruit that inclines more to black cherries than currants and decked out with a broad sweep of sweet oak, this slightly supple, full-bodied working sports a fine spine of integral tannin that, at the moment, imparts an edge of dryness to its lingering, ever so slightly hot finish. Unquestionably rich, but still very young and wanting time to smooth and for its parts to fully knit, it is sure to reward a stay of some six to eight years in the cellar.
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.
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.
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.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
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.