Christie Kiley on April 13, 2015 0 Comments I realize that spring is here, or at least officially it might be. Some of us are still waiting for the arrival of more spring-like temperatures. This time of year, everyone is going a bit stir-crazy with cabin fever and it is time to shake off the cold. In case you might find yourself still in the midst of some lingering winter weather and still wish to pry the cold from your bones, might I suggest the perfect wine? The DAOU Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon might be just the wine to keep the cold weather blues from chilling your mood and give you some warmth to satiate your soul and body. For many a California Cabernet Sauvignon, a lot of us head up north of the bay area, but I invite you to come a bit more south to the Central Coast where you can find a lot of fine California Cabernet wine. DAOU Vineyards is just one among many others who have made a name for themselves. I am here today to tell you a little of their story. The Vision & Passion in the Process It all began with a vision from a man named Daniel Daou. His vision and passion that started in the late 1990s. He grew up in both Lebanon and France and arrived in the United States for college. Him and his brother, Georges studied and graduated from the University of California in San Diego. Together, they both started a business managing and manufacturing computer programs for hospitals. It was so successful, Daniel retired at 31 and decided that winemaking would be his next pursuit. Today, he works seven days a week crafting fine wine that can only be his passion. He truly loves what he does. And what he does has made what some say is some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. Daniel Daou makes sure that his grapes have the same respect as high-quality food. They are all harvested by hand from the 212 acre estate and are only loaded into bins which have been cleaned and rinsed with filtered water first. The clusters are hand-selected as well and if any are not ripe, they are tossed. The grapes are destemmed at their winery on a hilltop and then the individual grapes themselves undergo another selection process on a custom-built sorting table. The key of the sorting table is to only give the grapes just a small ‘crack’ before they are gently pumped to the tanks still remaining intact. There is only about 20% juice that is pulled just from these ‘cracked’ grapes. Once the grapes have been sent off to their tanks, each batch is then individually analyzed to see what length of time each tank will have for their cold soak. Then the fermentation is implemented with a custom-made yeast and continued at a slow and steady pace. Daniel views each of these tanks as individual wines. Once the fermentation is within a few days of finishing, the phenolics, texture and other aspects of the wine is taken into consideration and will influence how the fermentation will finish. Some of the action which might be taken, say, if a wine is showing high levels of tannin, he can remove seeds from the bottom of specially made tanks. Free run wine is the best wine There are few of Daou’s wines which undergo pressing once fermentation is done. To him, the free run wine is the true expression of his grapes. The wine is more in balance and integrated from its flavors to aromas, tannins and finish. Once the wines have been drained, they are sent off to selected French oak barrels and kept in a barrel room that is chilled more than an average barrel room so less sulphur is needed in the aging process. Further on they are bottled without any fining or filtering. Today’s Featured Wine The Daou Cabernet is a French Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The color is rich and deep with aromas of a fresh-pressed ristretto, dried herbs, juicy berries and hints of cured meats. The texture on first sip is soft and delicate yet robust with juicy flavor of late summer berries, currants and blueberry pie. The finish lingers nicely, lively and harmoniously. Do enjoy it now, especially if winter does not seem to be going away just yet or you can save it for the next few cool weather seasons as it shows potential to be great with a little more bottle time.