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Notes From the Sommelier

Darioush Vineyards: Fulfilling One Man's American Dream


In 1976, fleeing civil unrest and believing in the American Dream, Darioush Khaledi emigrated to the United States from his native city of Shiraz in Iran with $50,000 and a degree in civil engineering. He landed just outside Los Angeles and one year later, with a $50,000 down payment, purchased Top Value Market in East L.A. with his brother-in-law Paul Vazin. Together, the two built what would become the largest family owned grocery store chain in California with 23 stores catering specifically to the Hispanic market. Today, he still serves as chairman of the board for the retail brand that brings in over $250 million in revenue per year.

Ever the consummate entrepreneur, in 1994, Darioush turned his focus to the wine business. Inspired by his father's own winemaking history and by the wine culture in his home city, Darioush set out to find land on which he could make his own mark in the industry. His search led him to Bordeaux, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma. In a serendipitous way, he landed in the eastern edge of Napa Valley just below Stag's Leap District. In 1997, Darioush was traveling to see another piece of land in Napa when he saw the Altamura Vineyards. At the time, the vineyards weren't for sale. But, during a meeting with owner George Altamura something "just clicked". 12 days later, Darioush and his wife, Shahpar, founded Darioush with 100 acres of property in both Mount Veeder and Oak Knoll. At the time, the more northern sites of Rutherford, Yountville, Oakville and St. Helena were the preferred regions to farm cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Intuition told Darioush that the cooler climates of Mount Veeder and Oak Knoll would yield the more elegant styles of wine that he sought to craft. Turns out he was right. Through the years, we have certainly witnessed a move to cooler climates for classic Bordeaux grape varieties. Winemakers and vineyard managers alike are finding greater success at higher altitudes versus the valley floor where the average temperature continues to rise with each vintage. The consumer seems to be reacting more favorably to these wines as well.

On October 5th, I met with Danielle Botros of Darioush and tasted the lineup of wines you see below. My initial take on the entire lineup is that these wines are unabashedly Californian with a keen eye on craftsmanship and grace. It had been some time since I had the opportunity to taste these wines. It was distinct pleasure to have them on my palate once again. Darioush has a deeply rooted belief in individualism with a keen focus on art, architecture and craftsmanship. It shows in all of his wines. They are well constructed wines that dance on the palate with a soft elegance. While Danielle was here, I remembered there was some 1999 Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon in our cellar. We pulled a bottle and together tasted the wine side-by-side with the 2014 Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon. We all agreed that the 1999 still had some life left in it and was exactly where it needed to be for its current age. We were all impressed by the continuity of style. It was easy to see how the 2014 would age and what it would become 15 years down the road. It makes the 2014 Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon an easy and safe investment for long term stocking.
Darioush Signature Chardonnay 2015

Darioush Signature Chardonnay 2015

The 2015 vintage comes from chardonnay farmed in Napa Valley, Mount Veeder, Oak Knoll and Los Carneros. Fermenting in French oak and sur-lie aging supply the wine with great length and texture. Gentle racking without fining or filtration give the wine integrity and nuance. It is aged for 11 monthsin ... more
BN#631843

Price:$60.00

in mixed case $57.00

SKU BBWW-72196

Darioush Signature Merlot 2013

Darioush Signature Merlot 2013

Fruit for the 2013 vintage came from both Mounth Veeder and Darioush's valley floor vineyards near Oak Knoll. The wine was fermented in traditional closed top fermenters, including a cold soak for 4 days. Winemaker Steve Devitt used gentle pump-overs for optimal color extraction and tannin management. The final was ... more
BN#593268

Price:$75.00

in mixed case $71.25

SKU BBWW-74546

Darioush Cabernet Franc 2014

Darioush Cabernet Franc 2014

100% of the fruit for this cabernet franc was farmed on Darioush's Mount Veeder property. The juice was fermented in traditional closed top fermenters, including a 4 day cold soak using gentle pump-overs for optimal color extraction and tannin management. The resulting wine was then aged for 22 months in ... more
BN#625599

Price:$75.00

in mixed case $71.25

SKU BBWW-2653

Darioush Signature Shiraz 2012

Darioush Signature Shiraz 2012

This fruit for this shiraz was grown on Darioush's south eastern Napa properties close to Oak Knoll. Steven Devitt using a four day dold soak in a combination of open top and traditional tank. He did gentle pump overs and extended the maceration during fermentation to gain optimal color extraction ... more
BN#571192

Price:$70.00

in mixed case $66.50

SKU BBWW-72879

Darioush Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Darioush Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

The fruit for this wine comes from both Oak Knoll and Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley. It's a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot. The wine was fermented in traditional closed top fermenters, including a cold soak for 4 days. ... more
BN#623897

Price:$115.00

in mixed case $109.25

SKU BBWW-2654





All sizes are 750mL unless otherwise noted.
Vintages and ratings subject to change at any time.
All pricing and availability subject to change.