DAOU Stories

A Dream Fulfilled: 2018 Soul of a Lion

This wine would be the crown jewel of DAOU—a Cabernet Sauvignon of world-class, first-growth proportions.

Not long after Georges and Daniel Daou arrived in Paso Robles, their father Joseph visited DAOU Mountain. Here, he listened to his sons’ winemaking aspirations and gave them his blessing, and it was all they needed to rush headlong into their dream.

Georges and Daniel alighted on the idea of creating a wine like no other. It would be called Soul of a Lion, in honor of their father’s signature strength and courage, which Georges and Daniel likened to that of a lion. This wine would be the crown jewel of DAOU—a Cabernet Sauvignon of world-class, first-growth proportions.

The inaugural vintage of Soul of a Lion shocked the wine world by receiving The Wine Advocate’s first rating of 96 points for a Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles. Ever since, this wine has been recognized by the major critics as the contender to rival Napa Valley’s finest Cabernets.

Now comes the 2018 vintage. The Wine Advocate has already rated this wine via barrel sample with a score of “94-96”—and the review was punctuated with the following statement: “I can’t wait to taste this from the bottle!”

“The 2018 growing season was very cool by our standards,” Daniel says. “The compelling characteristics of a cooler vintage are clearly evident in this wine, including a wonderful bouquet with beautiful textures and balanced acidity.”

The 2018 DAOU Estate Soul of a Lion is the kind of awe-inspiring, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon that Georges and Daniel envisioned when they first began researching the terroir of DAOU Mountain. What they found was every natural asset necessary to pursue the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon—including calcareous clay soils that evoke Bordeaux’s Right Bank and a climate that closely corresponds to St. Helena. Soon, the mountain would prove to produce some of the highest phenolics possible, another indication of what was to come.

“Our father taught us that nothing was impossible, so it is quite fitting that a wine many said was impossible is named after him.”

For Georges and Daniel, the achievement of Soul of a Lion is very personal. They remember a time when many doubted their conviction that Paso Robles was destined to become a world-class region for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Says Georges, “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.’ Forget what you know, and what you think you know, and open your mind and believe in something incredible.”

He adds, “Our father taught us that nothing was impossible, so it is quite fitting that a wine many said was impossible is named after him.”

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The Wondrous Wildlife of DAOU Mountain