Inside the Bottle: Soul of a Lion
DAOU’s most powerful and complex wine, the Soul of a Lion, represents a man who was nothing short of a leader.
Behind The Name
The Daou family Patriarch, Joseph Daou, exhibited the strength and courage seen in the king of the jungle. After he instilled these same traits in his sons, their success and newfound legacy was a sight he had to see before his passing. On his DAOU Mountain visit, he listened to his son’s winemaking dream and gave them his blessing. Soul of a Lion is a testament to that moment, a tribute to the man and fitting to the father.
We will stop at nothing less than producing the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon in steadfast service to DAOU Mountain and its incomparable terroir. We view our quest as a sacred trust, one that extends to all who step foot on the Mountain, and to all who experience the luxuries of DAOU wines around the world.
DAOU Mountain Terroir
DAOU Mountain stands alone at an elevation of 2,200 feet, rising from the heart of the Adelaida District in the rugged coastal range west of Paso Robles. The steep slopes reach up to 56 percent, with uniform exposure to the elements across the Estate. Our 14 unique Cabernet Sauvignon clones are planted at a high density to create wines of great balance. This rare phenomenon combines the calcareous clay soil that emulates the Right Bank of Bordeaux and a climate that closely identifies with St. Helena in Napa. It is a terroir of power, purity, and symmetry, with every natural asset necessary to pursue the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winemaker Daniel Daou combines intensive research with his own sensory talents to drive one of the world’s most innovative winemaking programs. Daniel spends countless hours in the vineyard to maximize the flavors, phenolics and purity of our fruit. All fruit from DAOU Mountain is hand-picked, then sorted by cutting-edge optical technology. This wine is fermented with proprietary native yeast cultivated from the Estate and made from 100 percent free run juice. Each fermentation is managed with continual phenolic analysis, ensuring an exquisite mouthfeel in each wine. With these and other proprietary techniques, Daniel is able to make age-worthy wines that consistently exhibit depth, balance and first growth elegance.
Measuring phenolics gives us the ability to be objective vs. subjective when measuring the quality of a wine, vintage or terroir. The higher the phenolics, the more stable the color of the wine. High phenolic wines possess a tannin structure that will allow for prolonged age-ability. Soul of a Lion is one of the highest phenolic Cabernet Sauvignons in the world. Year after year.
The Estate Soul of a Lion is aged for 22 months in custom French oak barrels selected from France’s finest cooperages. For his flagship wines, Winemaker Daniel Daou oversees the coopering of his own proprietary barrels made from a fine-grain pink oak known as bois rosé. This rare wood is aged in the elements for up to five years and is prized for imparting an array of complex yet subtle flavors. The bois rosé barrels are also finished with Daniel’s custom toasting, which reduces char in order to bring nuance and length to the wine’s finish.