Ruminations on Darioush

/ Updated on October 2, 2014

I'd like to welcome you to my wine-loving corner of! My husband Kevin and I own Teller Wines on Savannah Road in Lewes, DE. I love sharing our experiences, and I hope oenophiles and foodies alike will enjoy my thoughts and observations regarding the choosing, the purchasing, the tasting and the pairing of quality wines.

Kevin and I have traveled to 5 continents, eating and tasting wine in 36 countries.  Although I spent 7 years in S. California, and visited many of the smaller wineries along the Pacific coast appellations (Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Santa Cruz etc), we decided in 2005 to do the tourist thing in Napa.  Trying to narrow down our search was overwhelming, so we asked our innkeeper for recommendations.  She suggested aprivate tasting at Darioush Winery, a new addition to the hundreds of estate vineyards in the Napa region.  See

Let me just say that Kevin and I were completely enthralled the minute we drove up to the property.  Beginning with the gorgeous Persian architecture of the winery, to the attention to detail of their Old World Estate wines.  The lux yet comfortable decor.  Their grapes are hand harvested.  They produce only small lots of their divine Bordeaux-style signature Cabernet Sauvignon (and Shiraz, Merlot, Petit Verdot, etc).  Perhaps it was Darioush's own immigrant story that captured our hearts.  His passion for wine was evident.

As soon as we entered the massive palace-like front door, we were met with our personal concierge who led us into an intimate and cozy library room.  The walls were lined with books, artifacts, vases and statues from the Persian empire. There on a rectangular carved wood coffee table were 12 gleaming wine glasses strategically and meticulously placed on a silver tray, along with an array of luscious looking artisan cheeses.  We were seated on a small cushiony sofa.  For the next 45 orgasmic minutes, we listened to our hostess describe the aromas, notes and flavors of each wine we tasted.  She also pointed out the difference that a particular cheese makes on our palates, how the cheese “softens” the mouth feel of a full-bodied Chardonnay, how the tannins of a French oak-aged Cab linger, what “legs” look like and how they're related to the aging properties of a wine.

When we were completely satiated (and a little heady), our concierge took us on a personal tour of the winery.  I was impressed with the beauty of the ladies' room, gleaming with glass mosaic tiles, emerald glass wash basins, and classic eclectic modern decor.  All of our senses were awakened, yet we felt like we had been transported to a Persian kingdom far away in a different time.

That same trip, we took public and semi-private tours of other wineries in the region.  Had lunch on the Napa Wine Train.  Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the CIA (couldn't get reservations for French Laundry).  However, Darioush was the most memorable.  We make it a point of carrying Darioush's Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay at Teller.  It's a special treat you won't soon forget once you take the first sip.

The Darioush Cab can be found among the Big & Concentrated at Teller Wines. The 2009 Signature Cab retails for $112.99. The 2011 Chardonnay retails for $24.99 and can be found in Luscious & Complex.

Catherine Hester

About the Author

co-owner of Teller Wines in Lewes, DE with her husband Kevin, is a world traveler and shares their adventures at various wineries while offering thoughts on why she and Kevin order particular wines for their customers. Learn more about the Hesters by clicking here. View all articles written by Catherine Hester

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