(2022) All fruit from the Daou Mountain, hand-picked,l and sorted by optical technology. The wine is fermented with proprietary native yeast from the estate, and aged 22 months in French oak barrels. Immediately aromatic, an intense mulberry and blackcurrant glossy depth with spice and cocoa notes, but there's a higher-toned floral aspect too, adding to the complexity. The palate has a silky texture and a smooth, velvety core of pure cassis and black plum. Lots of juiciness here, but also pot-pourri aromas and spices continuing. Touches of roses and patchouli continually draw one back to the aromas. A large-scaled but beautifully proportioned wine, where the attention to detail is writ large in every mouthful.
(2022) From a biodynamic estate in Rutherford, Napa, that is dedicated to this single Bordeaux blend (91% Cabernet Sauvignon plus Cab Franc, Merlot, Carmenere and Petit Verdot). The wine spent 22 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. It has an arresting nose, where balsamic and liquorice notes play against ripe black fruits, intriguing hints of anise and flowers, graphite, but a solidity too. In the mouth the sweet fruit and thick, creamy tannin coats the tongue. There's a hint of something edgy and herbal, and the acid beautifully pitched, adding a rasp of extra grippy freshness. Subtle spicing and dark, olive-twisted savoury fruit dominate the long finish. Very impressive and surely with a 20 years of cellaring potential. The wine will be released on Bordeaux's 'La Place' in September 2022 before being distributed to retailers.
(2021) A certain dustiness and sweet plummy fruit depth here, a touch of tapenade and also some sweet floral aspects as cassis asserts. Smooth and silky on the palate, more toast and nutty oak components showing through, but everything polished and creamy, tannins and acids integrated with the substantial fruit. Stylish. Price and stockist quoted is for a more recent vintage at time of review.
(2018) A blend of two vineyards, the Occidental Road Vineyard, a 1990 planting of a Massal selection, plus their own sandy vineyard, O'Connel. Andy describes it as "A crafted wine, rather than a grown wine," with some whole bunches in the ferment, very few punch downs, more gentle remontage, and a long fermentation. It sees 45% new French oak. Fantastic glossy, deep black nose, almost cassis ripeness, Some char and coffee richness, graphite too. Delicious balance again, with the ripe plushness and just a touch of briar character, again texturally rich and dense, but the cherry freshness of the acidity cleanses beautifully. This tastes very youthful, but has such obvious quality.
(2018) Gorgeous perfume of violet and fragrant floral character, bursting cherry and cherry-stalk briar notes. Then delicious sweetness in the mouth, touches of mocha and plush, ripe fleshiness, pure and long, the tangy and bittersweet cherry skin quality extends the finish against the sweet fruit.
(2018) LIke all of DuMOL's wines it seems, again the perfume here is magnificent, slightly more ripe almost moving into dried cherry and dried fruit, extreme sweetness. This lacks the nuance and layering of the 2013 for me, but the fruit is so pure, so deliciously all-encompassing, encouraging you to simply drink deeply.
(2018) Served from magnum and the cool old cellars of Raeburn Fine Wines, this has the earthy, lightly salty, truffle and meatiness, with juicy cherry ripeness and freshness, rich, sandy tannins and keen concentration of fruit, texture and acidity. It has retained remarkable freshness though the wine is nicely developed, touches of game and flowers melding with the creamy fruit and oak of the finish. Price is for a magnum.
(2018) From a coastal vineyard at elevation, planted in 2000. Another 'crafted' wine according to Andy, that includes the addition of 7 or 8% Viognier, harvested at the same time as the Syrah by which time is very ripe (six weeks after Viognier is picked for white wine) and aged in a combination of 500-litre barrels with 25% in amphorae. Tight and glossy blue black fruit, a little balsamic quality, Very ripe, aromatic and cassis-dense again, with some meatiness backing up, and a touch of cedary quality. Juicy but firm and structured onto a dense, fleshy palate, touches of clove and liquorice, then all drawn together by creamy slick tannins and plenty of acid backbone.
(2018) A cool vintage with a late harvest and lower sugar levels. 'A very fond memory' of this vintage for Andy. Aged 16 months in new, larger French oak, there's a lovely white pepper lift to this, but also lots of meaty character, gamy, but long and flowing, that completely ripe and seductive fruit weight is there, but so fresh with the acidity and tang of black fruit skins.
(2018) So silky, and yes there is plenty of creamy, bittersweet dark cocoa and ripe blackberry sweet fruit and spices. Such a wonderful fleshiness and weight to this, but terrific creaminess and enough roughening texture too. Elegant, the cooler climate origins are there, but there's no lack of texture and fruit density.