A California first-growth Cabernet Sauvignon without peer, fulfilling the Adelaida District’s destiny as the world’s next benchmark for Bordeaux varieties.
If there was ever a perfect vintage, 2016 would be it. Bud break started early March and the warmth set in very quickly. The onset of veraison came rapidly and earlier than normal because of a very warm June and July. There were a few scares because of the raging fires throughout the region but fortunately our grapes were not affected. In the month of August, approximately one week away from harvest, very cold weather set in and the sugars stopped accumulating for several weeks allowing the perfect hang time to occur. The 2016 vintage allowed us to make our darkest, most concentrated wines yet. The longer hang time led to supple and very well integrated tannins. The 2016 wines will be long lived.
PATRIMONY is rooted in the unrivaled terroir of DAOU Mountain. The phenolics produced on this mountain are known to be among the highest in the world, fostering an immensity of color, depth and structure. In order to extract the purest and most elevated expression of this terroir, purposeful omission is required. For this reason, only select vineyard rows are chosen for PATRIMONY cultivation. By the time the fruit is aggressively thinned, optically sorted, and used only for its free-run juice, a minimal percentage of the total potential yield actually meets the exacting standard we set for PATRIMONY. Fermentation proceeds exclusively with wild yeasts cultured from DAOU Mountain, imbuing the wine with native texture and character.
The PATRIMONY aging program is built around the most coveted barrels that are accessible only through personal relationships with top cooperages. These barrels are: (1) Taransaud T5 barrels coopered from five-year seasoned staves cut from centuries-old Tronçais forest trees; (2) The Serie Vieux Morat Sylvain collection barrels made from this 39 metre tall sessile oak is approximately 350 years old. It has a diameter of 1.30 metres and a total volume of 19 m3. It is located in plot no. 233 of the famous Colbert stand, the historic heart of the Tronçais forest; (3) a proprietary DAOU barrel created from rare, super fine-grain pink oak, or bois rosé, that is also seasoned in the elements for five years. This proprietary barrel is custom toasted with a low flame to avoid char and ultimately accentuate the wine with extraordinary length; and for the first time, (4) Seguin Morreau’s ICÔN concept, whose technology allows even flavors throughout the barrels; and (5) Berger barrels, who customized a special toast for our fruit. Collectively, these barrels provide for seamless oak integration and staggering complexity over a maturation period of 30 months, all without encroaching upon the pure qualities of our DAOU Mountain fruit. The result is a most pure expression of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape—abundantly layered, extravagant in depth, and intricately poised to the end.
A massive yet elegant expression of our terroir, the Patrimony 2016 is a deep purple-black wine that delivers the full experience from beginning to end. On the nose, it profoundly exhibits floral characteristics that include crème de cassis, violets, espresso roast, truffles and chocolate. This wine is tremendously concentrated with extremely high phenolics often referred to by Daniel Daou as a “rare phenomenon”. On the Palate, it is very savory and includes notes of black fruit preserves, licorice, cooked blueberries, spice box and cigar box. Additional notes of crème de cassis and chocolate accompany this full-bodied wine with a firm tannin structure that delivers a very long finish. While muscular, it is elegant and balanced delivering a great deal of pleasure and complexity. Built for the long haul, it should be laid down for several years before consumed.