2005 Phelps, Joseph Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon - 750ML

  • WA 96
  • IWC 92

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WA 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, June 2015
96+ From a steep hillside vineyard on the lower slopes of the Vaca Mountains in Oakville emerges the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard, which is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec... 96+ From a steep hillside vineyard on the lower slopes of the Vaca Mountains in Oakville emerges the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard, which is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec. This is a deeper, more primordial, richer and more masculine style of wine than the Insignia. The 2005 reveals surprisingly sweet tannin (tannin management can be an issue in certain vintages), gorgeously dark blackberry and cassis fruit, a hint of Graves-like scorched earth and volcanic undertones, and a full-bodied, powerful, concentrated, multi-layered mouthfeel. This is extremely youthful, has 14.6% natural alcohol, and seems set for another 30 years of evolution. - Robert M. Parker, Jr.
IWC 92
Stephen Tanzer's IWC - Stephen Tanzer's IWC, June 2008
($225) Cool but sweet aromas of medicinal black fruits licorice menthol and graphite; today this comes across as sweeter than the Insignia. Then massive and pliant for the year showing a distinctly warmer character than... ($225) Cool but sweet aromas of medicinal black fruits licorice menthol and graphite; today this comes across as sweeter than the Insignia. Then massive and pliant for the year showing a distinctly warmer character than the Insignia. With aeration this exuded lovely inner-palate perfume thanks to bright acidity which gives lift to the fruit. But this very young wine finishes with substantial tannic clout.
Color & Type Red
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region North Coast
Appellation Napa
Vintage 2005

Winery

Phelps, Joseph

In the late 1960’s, Joseph Phelps, a successful construction company owner from Colorado, came to the Napa Valley to build a winery for Souverain (now Rutherford Hill). Like many others, he fell in love with the region and the industry and in 1974, he completed construction on his own eponymously named Joseph Phelps Winery, just in time to harvest the first vintages of Syrah and Insignia. Four decades later, Phelps Insignia is recognized as one of the world’s great and most highly-rated wines.

Over the years, the goal of becoming 100% estate grown resulted in carefully planned acquisitions of prime vineyards in the Napa Valley. Since 2004, all Phelps wines are made from estate-grown fruit, including Phelps Insignia, the estate labeled Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier, the Oakville single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Backus’, Eisrebe, a dessert wine made from the Scheurebe grape, and Syrah from the Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard.

Joe Phelps also had a life-long love affair with the wines of Burgundy and a desire to craft wines in that style. He found the ideal spot for the perfect combination of climate, soil and location in Freestone, in the Sonoma Coast AVA. In 1999, he began developing 100 acres of vineyards just outside of Freestone and in 2005, construction began on a new winery. Today, 80 acres of Pinot Noir and 20 acres of Chardonnay produce remarkable estate-grown wines bearing the Joseph Phelps name under the Freestone label.