£45.89 when you mix any 6 or more single bottles
Writing the day after an “interesting” debate between two very different images of the USA, I’m delighted to be highlighting Daou Vineyards. Situated in Paso Robles in the heart of sun-drenched California, these most American of wines simply complete a checklist of the American Dream:
• Second-generation immigrant family, fleeing a homeland gutted by war and strife? Check!
• Investing literally everything in street smarts, hard work and education of the second generation? Check!
• Making an absolute fortune? Check!
• Turning that into rich, beautiful Cabernet and luscious Chardonnay through intensive high standards, huge investment and intense selection of only the finest grapes grown from the finest clones in the finest wine country money can buy? Er – check, sortof!
All this is good window-dressing. These wines are fantastic, mostly because of the ultra-longterm view of the Daou brothers Daniel and Georges. Investment has been key – using their fortune to buy a legacy for generations to come. This is Bordeaux-style in the same way that a garden shed is like a luxury alpine ski chalet – still a wooden building involving walls and a roof – but with the addition of plastering, electricity, all mod-cons etc. In short, these massive, plush wines pack a punch and deliver layers of sensuous/sumptuous (senstuous?) flavours for minutes after you’ve tasted it.
“In pursuit of excellence, no expense is spared at Daou. Think of it like a Michelin three-star restaurant: no detail goes unnoticed and no shortcuts are taken.”
Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate, End of January 2020
The winemaking is ultra-modern and replete with technical nuance, from the light-sorting machines (literally, thousands of pictures taken of each bunch to weed out any that look suspect and costing millions) to the custom-built winery.
And in that winery… Free-run juice only to ensure it’s only the softest of tannins which get into the bottle. Incredibly precise selection of oak – extra-tight French oak being used exclusively as they release more slowly, but then with longer barrelling to ensure the soft vanilla flavours are integrated nicely. It’s a check-list of what to do to ensure you get the finest results year in, year out.
This is a vineyard which is reaching the top of it’s game – but the pricing hasn’t caught up yet. The Soul of the Lion – their top cab, has scored 97 Points for the last three vintages – this is the second highest scoring Paso Robles wine ever. The first? also made by their winemaker - Daniel Daou!
We are delighted to have tasted these and for any lovers of wines with power and presence, these will delight. They show what a marriage of technology and regard for old technique does, and the results are fantastic.
2018 Chardonnay Reserve, Daou Vineyards, Paso Robles, California, USA
“Defined by the cooler 2018 vintage, this Chardonnay offers beautiful aromas of pineapple and lemon pie accompanied by wonderful notes of vanilla and hazelnut flavours. While dark and loaded with a creamy and fleshy texture, it provides a great experience throughout with a finish that lingers on the palette and tantalizes the senses.. True to the vintage, this wine bears a beautiful level of acidity that will allow it to pair very well with a wide variety of cuisines.”
(Notes from the estate).
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