Friday, February 3, 2012

Darioush Napa Valley Shiraz 2003

Darioush Napa Valley Shiraz 2003

Continuing recent exploration of California Napa Valley Shiraz' that began with the spectacular standard bearer Kongsgaard Napa Valley Hudson Vineyard Syrah 2007.

Rick with Olivier Bernard and
Darioush Khaledi
We discovered Darioush wines at Cress Creek Country Club.We then visited the winery and first tasted this wine during during our Napa Wine Experience 2003 winery visit and cellar tasting with winemaker Steve McDevitt. We enjoyed an elegant Darioush Winemaker dinner at Everest Restaurant in Chicago hosted by owner producer Darioush and Shaptar Khaledi celebrating their collaboration with Olivier Bernard and Domaine de Chevalier in Pesaac Leognan Bordeaux. Chef Joho prepared a special dinner featuring and complementing their wines poured by winemaker Steve McDevitt.

The magnificent Darioush Winery sitting at the bottom of Silverado Trail as you depart the town of Napa heading north into the eastern Napa Valley, is a key attraction when visiting wine region. They feature private tours and cellar tastings or there is an elegant wine bar where you can taste Darioush wines without a reservation.

This 2003 Darioush Shiraz exhibited dark purple color - medium-full bodied. Polished and complex, the pundits refer to pomegranate fruit which I admit I can't characterize. This wine has predominant black berry fruits highlighted by vanilla, a layer of sweet caramel, and tones of  spice and nut flavors- polished and smooth with a layer of lingering red fruits on a long finish.  The fruit is from the Ashley Vineyard over near Oak Knoll on the western ridge of Nape combined with Estate Vineyard fruit. This was tasted at home with L, a great companion to aged rib-eye beef tenderloin dinner with hearty cheese au-gratin potatoes and capise salad. 

RM 91 points.