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The strength and courage of a lion. That’s how the owners of Paso Robles’ Daou Vineyards describe their patriarch Joseph Daou. Joseph gave his sons Georges and Daniel his blessing to start a winery on Daou Mountain, and this wine is their tribute to their father. The Soul of a Lion is their most powerful and complex wine, just as their father was a powerful and complex man.
Before starting Daou Vineyards, Daniel made wine in his garage from his 1-acre vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon. He had a goal—to produce the world’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon. But for that, a garage-made wine wouldn’t do, but vineyards in the finest terroir of Paso Robles would do. Daou Mountain is a combination of remarkable geology, microclimate, a 2,200-foot elevation, and steep slopes resulting in a terroir described as “a jewel of ecological elements.”
As stewards of this beautiful terroir, DAOU’s goal is to make unique fine wines that honestly and accurately reflect the potential of the estate and to craft Bordeaux-style wines that combine Old World tradition with New World techniques.
With this wine, it’s clear they’ve achieved that goal. 2019 produced possibly the greatest vintage DAOU Mountain has ever experienced, with heavy rains during dormancy, moderate temperatures, and extended hang time yielding a mighty harvest. The ample winter rainfall—close to 40 inches total—gave way to a healthy cover crop that replenished the soil’s micronutrient levels. The climate throughout the growing season was perfect, with temperatures mostly in the 80s and 90s, and not a single day reaching 100 degrees during the entire year. The harvested grapes arrived in exquisite condition, showing no damage, sunburn, or shriveling.
That’s the condition that nourished the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot grapes in this wine, grapes that were handpicked, then sorted by cutting-edge optical technology. Using native yeast from the estate to ferment the free-run juice before aging in oak, Daniel created the age-worthy Soul of a Lion with depth, balance, and first-growth elegance.
Aging: 22 months in 100% new French oak.
Tasting Notes: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot. Dark fruits, tobacco, and licorice on the nose with those dark fruits and exotic spiciness on the palate. Elegant, fresh, structured, powerful, and balanced. It will continue to reach its fullness in a well-cared-for cellar.
"The 2019 Soul Of A Lion is a blend of free-run Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Cabernet Franc (14%), and Petit Verdot (9%), aged 22 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque ruby in color, it offers aromatic contrast between dark, savory cherry fruit, chargrill, and graphite, and top notes of green pepper and rose petals. The palate explodes with detailed flavors and its tannins are already resolved and chocolaty, with seamless acidity and exotic spicy layers emerging on the extended finish. Wow! Drink 2022 through 2042."~ 97+ Points, Robert Parker.
"A full-bodied cabernet sauvignon with firmness and length. Very polished tannins. Chewy and solid. Very curated and thoughtful quality to the tannins. Sandalwood and blackberry on the finish, which remains elegant, despite the strength." ~ 95 Points, James Suckling.
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