The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon has heady aromatics that affirm this is a serious wine for serious wine lovers. This wine displays black cherry, Zante currant, plum and blackberry up front, complemented by dark chocolate, tobacco leaf and cool menthol. Rounding out the nose are aromas of black olives, briarwood, fig and dried thyme. Bold and assertive on the palate with flavors initially dominated by dark fruits, Bing cherries, black raspberry, plum and pomegranate, accompanied by high note accents of cranberries and rhubarb. Midpalate delivers espresso and dried herbs with hints of fennel and cigarbox all seamlessly integrated together on a structure of very fine grain, plush and ripe tannins. A wine of complexity and depth with a purity of fruit and subtle layers of flavors and texture that harmonize and enhance. This wine constitutes a journey of the senses that begins with power and finishes with elegance and style.
The 2017 growing season was preceded by one of the wettest winters in recent memory, with nearly 35 inches of rain recorded on DAOU Mountain. The vines were energized by the much-needed moisture, setting one of our best crops yet. The weather remained steady from spring through mid-summer. However, a heat wave descended upon California during the third week of August. Many vintners chose to harvest immediately, but we made the brave decision to allow the fruit to hang. As we suspected, a cooling trend snapped the heat wave ensuring that the fruit achieved optimal ripeness. The result was our latest harvest ever on the mountain, reaching all the way into the third week of October. The long hang time yielded the deepest color and concentration we have seen from our estate. The tannins are silky and beautifully integrated. We feel that the 2017 wines will rival the best ever from DAOU Mountain.
BARREL AGING: 10 months in 50% new French oak
(60% new French oak) Deep bright-rimmed ruby. Intense cherry and red berry scents, along with hints of cracked pepper, pipe tobacco and vanilla. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering concentrated red currant, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that deepen slowly and turn sweeter on the back half. Fine-grained tannins build on a long, spice-laced finish that leaves behind a suggestion of cherry compote. In the context of top-notch California Cabernets, this wine delivers remarkable value. - Vinous Media 91 Points
Tasted from barrel, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is very promising, revealing a youthfully primary bouquet of currants and plums that’s already integrated its new oak. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, richly structured and generous, with a sun-kissed core of fruit and a dry, fine-grained finish. A cuvee that includes purchased fruit, this is typically a great value. I’m looking forward to seeing it from bottle. - Robert Parker 90 Points
Bottle two weeks ago, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon offers classic notes of blackcurrants, tobacco, licorice, and smoke herbs, and as with the Pessimist, it’s a whole lot of wine for not much buck. - Jeb Dunnuck 90 Points