2018 Daou Soul Of Lion
Vintage : 2018
Region : Paso Robles
This wine displays all the hallmarks of its cooler growing season—richness, elegance and balance. A dark, purple-black hue foreshadows the experience to come. Intense aromas of lilac, violet and spice swirl amid a deep, complex bouquet. The palate bursts with prodigious flavors of blueberry, boysenberry, plum, vanilla bean and chocolate-covered cherry, all underlain by striking minerality. Silky, integrated tannins unwind into an impossibly long finish, revealing both the power and finesse of its DAOU Mountain provenance.
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.
97 Points, Robert Parker
"The 2018 Soul Of A Lion is an incredible Cabernet Sauvignon, made exclusively from free-run juice, blended with 15% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot and aged 22 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque ruby-purple in color, the nose opens slowly, segueing from graphite and tobacco leaves, to violets and blue fruit preserves, to cinnamon, potpourri and dark spices. The palate is seamless and cashmere-like, with expansive, pure, mineral-laced fruits enlivened by a burst of freshness that highlights the perfectly ripe fruit character this vintage. The finish is very long, offering violet perfume and iron tones that linger in the mouth. This is a gorgeous wine that combines unique personality with expert craftsmanship. It drinks well now but has all it needs for a long life in the cellar"
95 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
Based largely on Cabernet Sauvignon blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2018 Soul Of A Lion offers a brilliant array of cassis, tobacco leaf, graphite, lead pencil, and earth. With full-bodied richness on the palate, it offers ripe tannins, a round, layered, yet still focused texture, and a great finish. Tight, compact, and focused, it’s going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age and drink brilliantly over the following 15-20 years.