Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
"The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon (19,000 cases) is one of the finest made since the mid-1970s. A gorgeous nose of black fruits, licorice, and smoke is followed by a wine with tremendous flamboyance, loads of fruit, a velvety texture, and low acidity. The final blend was 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, and the wine performed out of bottle considerably better than it did from barrel. Drink it over the next decade."
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.