Most of you that read my articles on Paso Robles realize that I have developed a fascination with the exponential growth and development of Daou Vineyard. It seems that every time I go to Paso and visit them they have something new to show or tell me. My wife and I along with our good friends, Larry and Gloria Stahly, recently went to Daou where we were met with a warm and friendly welcoming by Daou’s Tasting Manager, Sara Eicher. Sara began to inform us of the recent changes, plans and accomplishments of Daou Mountain. The first big news was the purchase of the Hoffman Mountain Ranch property increasing the size of their vineyard allowing for more vines. Emphasis will be on Bordeaux varietals which follows Daniel’s passion, knowledge and experience that he gained in France. Preserving Paso history the Daou brothers restored the HMR Winery. Future plans are to build a second tasting room on this new property providing Daou club members their own place but also allowing members and non-members to be attended to in the Daou fashion of being a King or Queen for a day on Daou Mountain. Their tasting room is very busy as people are quickly learning about the quality and beautiful wines that are being produced.
Another surprise thrown at our group on this visit was the edition of Isaac Werre, a full time Chef to the Daou Mountain staff. What a phenomenal chef! During this visit he prepared a “local” Bavarian bratwurst with an Italian salsa verde and oven dried tomato and truffle popcorn lunch that was to die for. Then add your favorite Daou wine and enjoy the breathtaking view of the valley while eating…it doesn’t get any better than that.
Food and wine pairings are offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 5 PM. It’s a great place to have lunch during your wine tasting adventure in Paso.
Before lunch we were provided an excellent wine host, Diego Cordova, to attend to all of our needs. Always cheerful, Diego started us off with a lineup of great white varietals to open our wine tasting adventure. This included Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Chemin de Fleur which was the favorite white at the table. The beauty of these Rhone style whites was that they were all unbelievable. We never felt rushed and Diego was always providing us with details about the wines or Daou Vineyard which just added to the already fantastic ambience, truly an adventure. Next Diego proceeded with a terrific list of Daou reds which included Celestus, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve Zinfandel, Reserve Seventeen Forty and Unbound. Wow! What a finale before our lunch was served by the chef himself. To this finish Diego poured a glass of wine to go with our lunch and made sure that everything was alright before leaving us to enjoy the food and wine. As with all of my trips to Daou, the service is of the highest standard. This is true to all of their members. I am going to add a caveat that “ALL” Daou staff and owners are like one big happy family who love what they’re doing, and it shows. A good example was Tiffany Decoux. She was the wine hostess on my very first trip to Daou. She had left Daou for a little while but has returned. She remembered me and quickly came over to say hello. All you hear from the staff of Daou is praise. If you want to have a prosperous and successful business this is how it’s done. The best part is that we the consumers benefit from the fine product and care that is given to all of us when we go to Daou Mountain.
During this trip and in recent literature it is being noted in the wine world that Daniel and George Daou are very serious about their wines. The ratings on many of their wines are placing them in the outstanding range. Here is a list of their recent accomplishments.
93 points- 2010 DAOU Estate Mayote
Conoisseurs Guide to California Wine
93 points – 2011 DAOU Unbound
92 points-2010 DAOU Estate Mayote
92 points- 2011 DAOU Reserve Zinfandel
Robert Parker’s, The Wine Advocate
96 points- 2010 DAOU Estate Soul of a Lion (Robert Parker’s publication awarded the Soul of a Lion the highest rating they have ever given to any Cabernet or Bordeaux blend in Paso Robles)
94 points- 2010 DAOU Mayote
93 points- 2011 DAOU Reserve Seventeen Forty
92 points- 2011 DAOU Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points- 2011 DAOU Cabernet Sauvignon
Keep in mind how long Daou has been making wines, which is not very long. Yet to be able to jump into ratings with not just one but many of their wines is proof of the accolades they are receiving from the noteworthy wine expects. Our group was in awe of all of the wines poured for us at this visit. So much so that we are all members of their regular and Estate Club allowing access to those highly praised wines such as Soul of the Lion and Mayote. People may feel that I show a lot of favoritism toward this winery but they are growing exponentially in notoriety for their wines. If you ever go to Paso, please put this on your list as a must see. You will NEVER EVER be sorry. You can tell them that I sent you but it won’t matter as everyone that visits Daou Winery is treated like a King.
2777 Hidden Mountain Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446