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Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

  • WE97
  • RP94
  • WS92
750ML / 14.5% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP96
  • JS93
  • RP95
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  • V96
  • RP90
  • RP94
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  • RP97
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  • WE95
  • RP94
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  • W&S90
  • RP97
  • CG95
  • WE95
  • WS94
  • RP96
  • RP96
  • CG95
  • WE95
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE96
  • RP90
  • RP93
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  • RP94
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229 97
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2005 Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon yielded a classic, more European-style wine early on as it aged in barrel. The wine evolved slowly, showing beautiful weight and aromatics after one year which continued to increase after the second year. The result is a deeply ruby colored wine with hints of graphite, freshly ground espresso bean, crushed stones, ripe dark berries and plum, all of which contributes to an enticing bouquet. The texture is layered with ripe, well-integrated tannins along with a velvety, seamless finish. The 2005 wines are sure to be long lived.

Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec
Only shipping discounts can be applied to this product, other promotional discounts do not apply.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 97
Price be damned, this is an authentically gorgeous, important Cabernet Sauvignon. It calls to mind the amazing 2001, with its huge, perfect tannins and acids and artistic appliqué of new oak. But the star of the show surely is the fruit. Mounds of ripe blackberries and cherries pile up, veering into currants and cassis and something wild and decadently animal, like charred meat. Fabulous now despite the firm tannins, and should evolve for many years.
RP 94
The dense 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard (93% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec) offers sweet creme de cassis aromas interwoven with scorched earth, espresso roast, and licorice. Full-bodied as well as elegant with sweet tannin, gorgeous purity, and admirable depth, this effort has developed beautifully since I tasted it last year. It appears to have 25 or more years of aging potential.
WS 92
Shows off a distinctive minty herbal character and is dry and firmly structured on the palate, with glimpses of red currant and black cherry peaking through. Yet this is tight, focused, concentrated and balanced, and once it's past this phase, it should provide plenty of excitement.
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Joseph Phelps

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

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Joseph Phelps Vineyards, California
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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.

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Oakville

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Home to some of the most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon in America, Napa Valley’s Oakville district stretches across the center of Napa's valley floor and foothills between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains. This AVA is home to the legendary To Kalon Vineyard and Martha's Vineyard, as well as many powerhouse wineries including Screaming Eagle, Silver Oak, Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Far Niente and Groth.

The climate is generally warm and agreeable, resulting in year after year of favorable vintages. Summer days see a gentle tug of war between warmer inland air and the cool air coming in from the San Pablo Bay, creating an ideal environment to grow red varieties. Oakville's diverse soils, namely ancient sea bedrock, clay and gravel, are well-drained, and perfect for high-caliber viticulture.

Cabernet here is often bottled varietally but is also popular in Bordeaux Blends. Oakville wines are known for their silky, sensual textures, structured tannins, dark and brooding fruit and lovely aromatics. These age-worthy and prestigious wines are favored by collectors throughout the world.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

RUS121662_2005 Item# 121662