by Sergio Sismondo

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On the Silverado Trail, just south of the Oak Knoll Avenue crossroad, on the east side of the road, is a wonderful winery named Darioush. It has been open since 1997 and has made plenty of news with its impressive wine releases. On the estate is a winery house which is an extraordinary addition to the landscape of the Silverado Trail. It is designed after the style of the palace of King Darius at Persepolis, in ancient Persia, in the late 6th Century B.C. The tasting room is among the finest we have seen, with attention to all imaginable details. It is a room both grandiose and extremely tasteful at once. Outstanding and memorable are the architecture, furnishings, wines and hospitality.

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The winemaker is Steve Devitt, who is very courteous and greatly knowledgeable. The tasting room and sales staff is attentive to guests' needs and, of course, the wines are excellent. The tasting room manager is Ryan Ruhl. There is much enthusiasm in the air here, which is so appropriate to accompany the superb quality of the products being offered. And then, there is the excitement generated by the new and most impressive building.

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We tasted a range of wines, Chardonnay, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Viognier. All the wines were excellent and we rated most of them in the 90's.

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Cabernet-Sauvignon, Signature, 2001 93
Cabernet-Sauvignon, Signature, 2002 95
Cabernet-Sauvignon, Signature, 2003 95
Cabernet-Sauvignon, Signature, 2004 95
Cabernet-Sauvignon, Estate, 1999 89
Cabernet-Sauvignon "Cinq Cepages" Signature 2002 94
Cabernet-Sauvignon "Cinq Cepages" Signature 2003 94
Chardonnay, Signature, 2003 95
Chardonnay, Signature, 2004 93
Chardonnay, Signature, 2005 92
Chardonnay, Russian River, 2005 92
Chardonnay, Estate, 2002 90
Chardonnay, Estate, 2003 93
Merlot, Signature, 2001 91
Merlot, Signature, 2002 92
Merlot, Signature, 2003 92
Merlot, Signature, 2004 93
Pinot Noir, Signature, 2005 92
Red Table Wine, Estate, 2000 89
Red Table Wine "Meritage", Estate, 2001 90
Red Wine Napa Valley 2003 91
Shiraz, Signature, 2001 92
Shiraz, Signature, 2002 92
Shiraz, Signature, 2003 93
Shiraz, Signature, 2004 93
Viognier, Signature, 2003 89
Viognier, Signature, 2004 90
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  • Our choice for best white wine at Darioush Winery is the Signature Chardonnay of 2003, which is priced at $41 and we rated 95. It is a truly outstanding wine which can either be enjoyed by itself, or as a wonderful accompaniment to an appropriate meal.
  • Our choice for best red wine at Darioush Winery is the Cabernet-Sauvignon, of 2002, 2003 or 2004, priced at $68, and which received our rating of 95. Year after year it is a great wine.
  • Our choice for "best value for money" goes to the Estate Cabernet-Sauvignon 1999, which is priced at $29, and we rated 89.
  • For a white wine, we recommend the Viognier, Signature, 2004, which is priced at $34 and which we rated 90.
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  • Our preference for a white wine goes to the 2001 Signature Chardonnay, 100% Chardonnay from Carneros. It is priced at $38 per bottle, and received our rating of 90.
  • Our choice of the best red wine tasted was the 2000 Signature Cabernet-Sauvignon, which is priced at $64 and we rated 95. This is a superb wine of great complexity, with strong structure and long finish. It was already a nationally recognized winner in 1999, with a rating of 94.
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