Daou Vineyards and Winery, the young winery in “the wild west of California wine” Paso Robles has made a name for crafting highly acclaimed Bordeaux blends that can rival top Napa reds. It has now been launched in Hong Kong and mainland China through wine importer China Wines & Spirits (CWS).
Located halfway between LA and San Francisco, Paso Robles is often dismissed as the “Wild West of California wine” for its unconventional plantings of Rhone blends and Italian varieties outside of Napa-favoured and more prestigious Cabernet.
The young winery, which was only founded in 2007 by two Lebanon-born, America-raised Daniel and Georges Daou after their successful career in Silicon Valley, is making a name for its Cabernet-based Bordeaux blends in California’s heartland for Rhone style wines.
The winery is located at what was previously known as the Hoffman Mountain Ranch at an elevation of 2200 feet in Adelaida District. The area where the winery is located today was once hailed decades earlier as a “jewel of ecological elements” by America’s father of wine, André Tchelistcheff.
Since its first vintage, its Cabernet-driven wines particularly its ‘Soul of a Lion’ is feted by critics including Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and Jeb Dunnuck as being able to stand toe-to-toe with the best that Napa has to offer. The red Bordeaux blend is described as the winery’s answer to making “California first growth Cabernet Sauvignon”.
The choice of making Bordeaux style reds in Adelaida District AVA of San Luis Obispo County traces back to the two brothers’ childhood upbring in Paris and Cannes in France after the family fled Lebanon after civil war in 1975.
As the story goes, it was in here the brothers’ father Joseph developed a passion for wine and inspired the two brothers a life in wine. The Soul of Lion, the crown jewel from the estate and a blend of dominant Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is a tribute to their father Joseph.
According to Jack Cumming, Asia Ambassador of the winery, besides Daou brothers’ heavily France influenced background, the calcareous clay soil found in the district similar to Bordeaux is another key reason Daniel Daou, an engineer and a self-taught winemaker, chose to make Bordeaux style reds.
In terms of winemaking, the engineer-turned-winemaker exerts precision into its wines as well. He has formulated a phenolic system that uses data collection, analysis and his own sensory observation to measure the level of phenolic ripeness in wines.
This according to the winery allows them to achieve consistency in wine style year after year.
Additionally, its Reserve Collection comprising of a Cabernet and a Chardonnay, and its Estate Collection are made using free run juice selected from top vineyard sites from the estate.
Meanwhile, the brothers’ other wine project in Paso, Patrimony, also found a home in Hong Kong and Macau with EMW Fine Wines.