A winery with some serious prestige, I have enjoyed tasting at this gorgeous Napa estate over the past decade. It is rare to find this quality in an overall lineup as the push for attention to detail is apparent in each bottle of Darioush. The Darioush story is an inspired by the American dream. Northern Iran is one of the birthplaces of wine, as records from 5,000 B.C. indicate a nomad culture living there and celebrating wine. Darioush Khaledi was instilled at an early age with the winemaking craft of his father and began collecting fine wine at a young age. He migrated from Iran to the United States and owned what was once the largest family-owned grocery store business in California. His passion for wine met its apex in 1997 when he formed Darioush winery.
Darioush set out to craft the best lineup of wines in Napa and his winery, which honors its Persian heritage, is one of the most beautiful in all of California. The new lineup of wines by Darioush was simply stunning. I was amazed by the new release Merlot, their 2015 Darioush Merlot (WWB, 95) which is one of the top values that I have sampled this year from California. This wine has it all, from a silky texture, to insane mid-palate range. Darioush has developed a sterling reputation for their Cabernet Franc wines. The 2015 Darioush Cabernet Franc (WWB, 95) is an insane bottling that shows true varietal typicity, intense richness and lovely herbal tones. Do not miss out on these two stunners. The best wine I sampled was the 2014 Darioush ‘Darius II’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 97) which combines both decadence and elegance, with silky tannins and a voluptuous mouthfeel. Learn more about this special winery at darioush.com. Here are the great new wines by Darioush.
2017 Darioush ‘Signature’ Viognier- The wine was barrel fermented in natural oak for seven months. They have been making this wine for more than twenty years. The nose takes on wonderful gooseberry and starfruit on the nose. With a kiss of sweetness, this takes on bright pear, starfruit and cantaloupe flavors that develop in the glass. Bright and showing good intensity, this is an outstanding effort by Darioush. Drink 2018-224- 93
2016 Darioush ‘Signature’ Chardonnay- This wine was aged for 11 months in 66% new French oak prior to bottling, sourced from Oak Knoll, Mt. Veeder and Carneros AVAs. The wine takes on beautiful toasty oak on the nose with vanilla cream, butterscotch and brioche. The mouthfeel ism rich as this shows good weight and elegance. Vanilla cream, brioche, brandy soaked pear and kumquat flavors all beautifully amalgamate. A long ager, this will continue to build secondary characteristics as it ages. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2015 Darioush ‘Signature’ Merlot- The 2015 Darioush ‘Signature’ Merlot is a blend of 94% Merlot 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Malbec all sourced from the Mt. Veeder, Oak Knoll and estate property. Everything was harvested separately and then blended before bottling.This takes on Hoisin sauce, black tea, green bell pepper and cassis on the nose. The palate is lifted and shows tremendous weight, yielding some super bright acidity. Red cherry compote, red bell pepper, wild blackberry and black tea flavors all beautifully combine. A long ager, showing some amazing range, this is a tremendous wine that will cellar well over the next two decades. This is an insanely good value by Darioush. Drink 2018-2035- 95
2015 Darioush ‘Signature’ Shiraz- this was aged in 100% new French oak for 18 months prior to bottling. The wine begins with intense aromas of Asian spice, ripe plum, black tea, anise and blackberry cobbler. Wonderfully rich, this takes on a dense mouthfeel and plush texture that entices. Black Forest cake, coffee grounds, black tea and cigar ash flavors all impress. Showing wonderful length and range, this is a top Syrah bottling from Napa. Enjoy this great wine over the next decade or so. Drink 2018-2030- 94
2015 Darioush ‘Signature’ Cabernet Franc- This is a blend of Cabernet Franc with the remainder 10% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Merlot, 2% Malbec which was aged for nearly all new French oak prior to bottling. The herbal edge on the nose is tremendous with dusty earth, with red and dark fruits mingling with cocoa powder. The palate shows wonderful length and richness with red bell pepper, red currant jelly and milk chocolate. The finish is strong with a chocolatey edge. Drink 2018-2035- 95
2015 Darioush ‘Signature’ Cabernet Sauvignon- This 2015 Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon has 10% Merlot blended in with smaller parts Petit Verdot and Malbec. Inky and brooding in color, this opens with creme de cassis, black olive tapenade, crushed mint and mocha aromatics that build in the glass. The palate is jam packed full of flavor. Mocha, anise, blueberry compote and lovely sagebrush flavors all combine beautifully. A slumbering giant, try to give this at least another year before enjoying. Drink 2019-2040- 95
2014 Darioush ‘Darius II’ Cabernet Sauvignon- This has 5% Malbec and 4% Merlot blended in. This saw 100% Taransaud new French oak aging. The oak influence on the nose is lovely, as the Cabernet reveals lovely Hoisin sauce, blackberry pie, mocha, anise and spicebox aromas. There is a tremendous seamless quality to this wine that simply glides across the mid-palate. Mocha, anise, creme de cassis and graphite flavors all mingle together. A long ager, this will cellar for two to three decades. Drink 2018-2040- 97
2015 Dariosh ‘Duel’ Red Wine- This wine is a blend of near equal parts Shiraz to Cabernet Sauviginon. The wine was aged in 50% new French oak prior to bottling. This has an incredibly perfumed nose with rose petals, mocha, anise, and Asian spice. The palate has some dense fruit weight with irresistable black tea, black olive tapenade, and chocolate flavors shining most brightly in the glass. Deep and seductive, this is nearly impossible to resist right now. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2014 Darioush ‘Signature’ Malbec- This has a large percentage of Petit Verdot (21%) blended in. The wine shows a distinct herbal edge on the nose with black fruits and green bell pepper most dominant. The palate is silky smooth, showing a rich mouthfeel and wonderfully decadent texture. Mocha, crushed mint, green bell pepper and asphalt flavors all create an intense effect in the glass. Dense and layered, this will cellar marvelously for decades. Drink 2018-2040- 94