A delicious Californian blend that in all respects represents amazing value for money; this is a smooth, rich and full red that combines the qualities of the grapes and the region in to a brilliant red.
Intense flavours of mixed berries with culinary spices, cocoa and vanilla, this is a real treat for the senses. Bright and vibrant at first, you then realise there's a warm and mouth-filling weight that is powerful yet balanced. The morello cherry finish helps wrap up the complex flavours in a delightful bundle of a very tasty wine experience.
Taking inspiration from famous Californian estate wines, this is a field blend made from 73% Petit Sirah, 14% Zinfandel, 12% Syrah, 1% Grenache. Grown in vineyards on the family estate, known as Daou Mountain, the Paso Robles appellation is to the north of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, pretty much equidistant between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Like all other quality regions, it is influenced heavily by coastal weather fronts as well as the warm continental air to the east.
This is a wine that has an extraordinary backstory. Made by brothers Georges and Daniel Daou, the winery was established in 1998 with the goal of producing Grand Cru Classé wines from Paso Robles fruit. This stratospheric vision has been realised and the wines command respect, a fanatic following and eye-watering prices. The Daou family story is more interesting that the winery however...
Born in Beirut, the Daou brothers were sons of a highly successful furniture making businessman who brought up a happy family there until 1973, when a rocket fired into the pavement outside their front door. They survived but, as the war progressed, were ever increasingly aware that Lebanon was unlikely to remain peaceful and that Beirut would never return to the Paris of the Middle East in their lifetimes. They emigrated to Paris and then to Cannes, surrounded by peace, countryside and excellent vineyards. The two brothers then moved to California to "find gold" and indeed, founded a hugely successful software firm in the 1980s which they then took public and sold it in 1998. In the vein of many other tech-to-vineyard stories, the funds raised were well-spent; however, in this case there was an historical dream in place as well as Daniel's own small vineyard that he had had as a part-time pet project - in other words, this wasn't a fantastic trendy dream in the mould of other start-ups, rather it was the outworking of a plan. The cash boost must have been very useful for them in achieving such astonishing levels, but one gets the impression that they'd have got there anyway.
As Robert Parker's colleague Erin Brookes wrote: "No expense is spared at Daou. Think of it like a Michelin three-star restaurant: no detail goes unnoticed and no shortcuts are taken."
Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon
Style: Structured, Smooth, Round, Rich, Refined, Pure, Medium Full, Fruity, Elegant, Dark, Complex, Broad, Balanced
Best food matches: Wild Boar, Venison, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Roasts, Red Meats, Lamb, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Charcuterie