Wednesday, September 15, 2021

DAOU Family Estates - Soul Of A Lion

The Paso Robles wine region is so often overlooked that we could excuse them if they developed a complex about it.  You could call Paso California’s "forgotten" wine region - or is that Temecula?  

Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, for my money, gives Napa Valley a good deal of competition.  The limestone influence in the Paso dirt plays wonderfully in red wines, as well as white.  And, while Napa may be elegant, Paso has a more rustic approach which I find compelling.

Paso Robles winemaker Daniel Daou is bringing out his new Cab release this month, the 2018 Soul of a Lion, the crown jewel of DAOU Family Estates, named in honor of his father. 

Soul of a Lion puts Paso Robles on the map for world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.  It showcases Daou's vision to produce Bordeaux-style wines that combine elegance, freshness, and power.  The 2018 vintage has all the hallmarks of its cooler growing season, revealing both the power and finesse.

The winery credits DAOU Mountain's "remarkable geology, microclimate, a 2,200-foot elevation and steep slopes" for creating what they call "a jewel of ecological elements."

The 2018 Soul of a Lion was made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot, all grown in Paso's Adelaida District.  The wine was aged for 22 months in 100% new French oak.   Alcohol sits at 14.7% abv and the retail price tag is $150 for a 750ml bottle.

This wine is inky in the glass, with no light getting through its rich, purple shade.  The nose is a showcase for black and blue fruit, with a good deal of minerality and some nice floral notes.  A little sweet oak spice comes through as well.  On the palate, the fruit is dominant, but there is an ample sense of spice.  The tannins are quite firm upon the first pour, but they settle down after the bottle has been open for a while.  The finish is long and satisfying.  In a region which produces outstanding Cabernet blends, this is one of the better ones.


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