Posted with permission from Sill Family Vineyards
The Adventure Begins at Darioush
I made reservations for 4 at Darioush Winery for a flight of 5 wines hosted tasting on a busy Saturday afternoon @ $150 per person. We arrived a bit early and drove up that beautiful long driveway at the base of Atlas Peak off of Silverado Trail. We were graciously greeted as we approached the entry by Mark, a very friendly concierge who checked us in with a smile and served us a wonderful Chardonnay. Mark quickly guided us inside to a waiting living room setting in front of a massive fireplace graced by Persian columns.
Darioush Khaledi & The American Dream
Mark then introduced us to our host, Derek, who engaged us with a bit of history behind Darioush’s founder, Darioush Khaledi, who achieved the American dream by immigrating to the US from Iran following the Islamic revolution and started what turned out to become the largest family-owned grocery business in Los Angeles. He then founded Darioush in 1997 to bring the opulent architecture, rich culture, arts and wines of the famed royal city of Persepolis to Napa. And, that he has done. The winery is amazingly impressive, with Persepolis columns framing the entrance with a royal palace setting inside.
The Flight & Winery Tour
Our 5 wines were served paired perfectly with artisan cheeses and nuts. We tasted 2 Syrahs, a Merlot, a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon and lastly, the Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. All were luscious and superbly outstanding. Darioush himself walked over, introduced himself and welcomed us to his winery with a genuine and gracious hospitality, making us feel like royalty. Derek then invited us downstairs where we toured Darioush’s personal wine collection cellar, filled with first growth Bordeaux wines, in the style of Haut-Brion, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux (one of my personal favorites), Chateau Lafite and Mouton Rothschild, including a bottle of 1942 Chateau Lafite Rothschild–reportedly one of only 2 left in the world. Derek then pulled out a wine thief and proceeded to extract tastings for each of us from a cellar French oak barrel of 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, yet to be bottled or released. It was truly outstanding and, though a bit young, will clearly be brilliant in a few years. Overall, we tasted some 7 lovely wines and were graced with an unforgettable wine tasting experience in one of Napa’s absolutely finest wineries. Without question, an exceptional and unforgettably memorable experience, worthy of 6 yelp stars (5 is the max)! Appointments are required.