On top of a mountain west of Paso Robles in the Adelaida District, DAOU Vineyards stretches for 212 acres and produces some of California’s finest Cabernet Sauvignons.

Before the now world-renowned DAOU Vineyard occupied DAOU Mountain in Paso Robles, California, this was the site of another famous vineyard – The Hoffman Mountain Ranch. Established by Dr. Stanley Hoffman, a Beverley Hills cardiologist, and André Tchelistcheff, a highly-acclaimed authority in the winemaking world, in 1961, this was America’s first gravity-flow winery and was deemed the birthplace of modern winemaking in Paso Robles.

André Tchelistcheff. Photo from DAOU website.

Tchlistcheff found the mountain’s terroir incredible, calling it “a jewel of ecological elements.” At an elevation of 2,200 feet, grapes grown here are guaranteed even ripening and flawless vine balance thanks to the pleasantly warm days and breezy cool nights. Additionally, the rare soil found here is the same soil found in Saint-Émilion, a famous wine-growing area within the Bordeaux region that has been producing wine since the days of the Romans.

Decades after the Hoffman Mountain Ranch’s reign over the mountain, brothers Georges and Daniel Daou were on the hunt for the perfect location to begin their winery, and they found it on what is now called DAOU Mountain. Their winemaking expertise, deep commitment to the terroir, and meticulous care of their vines and fruit have produced many outstanding wines praised highly by critics and wine lovers alike.

Daniel and Georges Daou. Photos from DAOU website.

DAOU Vineyards Crown Jewel – The 2019 DAOU Estate Soul of a Lion Cabernet Sauvignon

Of all the wines produced at the DAOU Vineyards, The Soul of a Lion is their most prestigiously produced wine on their quest to make an unsurpassed California Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2019 Soul of a Lion is their most recently released vintage, but this wine’s journey began nine years before.

The production of this wine begins with rare Bois rosé French barrels whose staves, the narrow strips of wood that form barrels, are first seasoned for five years in the elements before coopering, which is the process of building the barrels. The wine then ages for two years in these unique barrels and is then further matured in bottles to ensure their absolute perfection before allocation.

This wine is a true testament to how unique the terroir of DAOU Mountain is for producing flawless Bordeaux varietals. From the aromas to the flavors, this wine is a genuinely complex and intriguing masterpiece. Blackberry, blueberry, black currant, sweet tobacco, licorice, and subtle floral notes are expertly balanced in the robust structure of this wine. The longevity and evenness of this full-bodied wine showcase its bold personality and gives it a silky, impossibly long finish.

The 2020 DAOU Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon

Next up from DAOU Vineyards, the showstopping 2020 Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon is another highly acclaimed wine with a whirlwind of intense notes and flavors. The nose of this wine is packed with the dynamic notes of abundant ripe cherries, black plums, and Zante currants with playful undertones of blackberry jam and crushed wet gravel. You’ll find these notes in perfect balance with each other and subtle highlights of coffee, pencil shavings, dried desert sage, and baking spices.

The flavors – black cherry, cassis, wild boysenberry, cranberry, blueberry, vanilla, black olive, and fine leather give this wine immense complexity. The wine boasts an exquisite core of ripe tannins with a lingering velvety finish of blackberry, plum, and cocoa. Famed wine critic Jeb Dunnuck has hailed it as the “classic Cabernet.” Another excellent quality of this wine is the wide range of foods it pairs effortlessly with, such as beef, poultry, venison, and lamb.

There are 29 different DAOU Vineyards wines that have received a rating of 91 or higher from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

The expertise of the Daou brothers has given them massive success in the wine world. Numerous wines produced by them are given near-perfect scores from critics, such as Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. In March 2022, four new ratings were assigned to the newest of the DAOU Vineyard’s releases, proving their dedication to crafting the best Bordeaux varietals possible.

  • 2019 DAOU Estate Soul of a Lion – 97+
  • 2019 DAOU Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 95
  • 2020 DAOU Cabernet Sauvignon – 93
  • 2020 Pessimist by DAOU – 92
If the prestige of DAOU Vineyards and their wines has piqued your interest, you are in luck. Vintegrity has DAOU wines available in Missouri and Kansas – contact them today and stock up your selection with these world-class wines!