2017 Daou Estate Soul of A Lion
Vintage : 2017
Country : USA
Region : Paso Robles
WINEMAKER VINTAGE DESCRIPTION
The 2017 growing season was preceded by one of the wettest winters in recent memory, with nearly 35 inches of rain recorded on DAOU Mountain. The weather remained steady from spring through mid-summer. However, a heat wave descended upon California during the third week of August. Many vintners chose to harvest immediately, but we made the brave decision to allow the fruit to hang. As we suspected, a cooling trend snapped the heat wave ensuring that the fruit achieved optimal ripeness. The result was our latest harvest ever on the mountain, reaching all the way into the third week of October. The long hang time yielded the deepest color and concentration we have seen from our estate. The tannins are silky and beautifully integrated. We feel that the 2017 wines will rival the best ever from DAOU Mountain.
APPEARANCE, AROMA AND TASTING NOTES
Soul of a Lion is DAOU's crown jewel, named after the father of Georges and Daniel Daou. The 2017 vintage displays richness, elegance and balance the hallmarks of a superb growing season that allowed for extended ripening. A deep, complex bouquet reveals notes of cassis, black currant, licorice, incense, ripe plum and vanilla. The palate is full-bodied, layered and complex, while smooth, silky tannins lead to a persistent finish. It is impossible to drink this wine without respecting the great structure that will allow it to evolve nicely for years to come. In short, this is a blockbuster vintage that showcases the innate power of DAOU Mountain.
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.
The 2017 vintage displays richness, elegance and balance—the hallmarks of a superb growing season that allowed for extended ripening. A deep, complex bouquet reveals notes of cassis, black currant, licorice, incense, ripe plum and vanilla. The palate is full-bodied, layered and complex, while smooth, silky tannins lead to a persistent finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 97
The 2017 Soul Of A Lion is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot aged 22 months in 100% new French oak. It has a deep ruby-purple color and wonderfully unique expression, with scents of forest floor, underbrush, English breakfast tea, espresso, blackcurrant bud, dark chocolate and exotic flowers mingling over a core of perfectly ripe wild blackberries and Morello cherries, all complemented by a classy framing of new oak spices. The medium to full-bodied palate is slow to unfurl, with a frame like liquid silk and a very long finish that gives up layer after layer of nuanced flavors. Wow!
Jeb Dunnuck 96
Both vintages of the Soul of a Lion are stunning. The 2017 Soul Of A Lion offers a forward, bona fide fruit bomb style yet has plenty of class. A sweet nose of cassis, Asian spice, cedar box, and chocolate gives way to a full-bodied, hedonistic 2017 that stays balanced and layered. This cuvée always delivers and the 2017 is just an incredible drink.
Wine Enthusiast 95
Extremely dark and almost opaque in the glass, this top-shelf bottling shows roasted meat, toasted wood, dark cassis fruit, soy and scorched espresso on the savory nose. The palate is thick, dense and framed in chiseled tannins, offering coffee and bittersweet cacao flavors alongside roasted black cherry, with impressive weight and acid that percolates slowly into the finish.