Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Beautiful aromatics of dried flowers, cassis, blueberry, black cherry and licorice set the stage for the opulent palate of the 2008 Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Flawless texture, minerality and concentrated flavors create a balanced and intense long finish.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus is a beautifully delineated wine endowed with tons of personality and sheer class. The wine comes alive in the glass, with crushed rose petals, dark raspberry jam, licorice and spices. There is an exotic element to the fruit that is highly appealing. Today the tannins are quite firm, suggesting the wine needs at least a few more years in the cellar. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2038. "
Wine Spectator - "Firm and intense, this is beautifully structured, with a tight, vivid core of mineral-laced raspberry, black cherry, anise and cedar flavors. Full-bodied and firming nicely on the finish, where the minerality provides a flinty edge. Drink now through 2022. 1,445 cases made."
Wine Enthusiast - "A big wine, saturated in color and tremendously extracted in fruity richness. Explodes in blackberries, cassis and sweet new oak, and the tannins are strong and refined. Not particularly drinkable now, because the parts are only clumsily melded, but seems like a serious cellar candidate. Should begin to blossom in 6–8 years and, given this wine's history, will be rocking by 2020."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Aromas of blueberry, crushed stone, licorice and violet. Very tight and energetic, with dark berry flavors complicated by meaty, smoky and saline nuances. Ultimately creamier than the Insignia, this saturates the entire mouth and leaves the taste buds vibrating. Finishes with major tongue-coating tannins, superb persistence and captivating minerality.
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Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps now grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varietals, Insignia, first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking. View all Joseph Phelps Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.