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Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Sauvignon Blanc from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
  • WW92
  • WE91
  • W&S90
13.5% ABV
  • CG93
  • WW92
  • WS92
  • JS91
  • WE92
  • W&S92
  • WS90
  • W&S90
  • W&S90
  • WS90
  • WE92
  • W&S93
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine shows bright Mandarin orange blossom, lemon curd, citrus and honey aromas. Full, ripe flavors of Meyer lemon, pear, honeydew melon and vanilla cream fill the mouth with a streak of minerality through to the nicely balanced long citrus finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
This is pretty special Sauvignon Blanc, the 2013 Joseph Phelps shows great intensity and that elusive minerality that we wine guys love a lot. Light to medium straw color; great tension in the aroma, dried citrus and mineral all over the place, precise and varietal; medium bodied, angular and fine on the palate; bright citrus peel in the flavors; medium finish, racy aftertaste. Drinking beautifully now and will get better and better over the next 12-18 months. (Tasted: June 5, 2015, St. Helena, CA)
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Floral and exotic, the tingling acidity in this wine is the standout, but it’s equally buoyed by a mouth-filling texture adorned by a sensation of fresh-squeezed lime and grapefruit. Balanced, this lovely Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc should convince one and all of the variety’s regional merit.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Laden with oak, this wine takes time to reveal its bright pineapple flavors. It’s both tart and sweetly ripe, finishing clean. For planked salmon.
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Joseph Phelps

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

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Joseph Phelps Vineyards, St. Helena, Napa Valley, 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.

St. Helena

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St. Helena is in the heart of the Napa Valley, nestled between Calistoga to its north and Rutherford on its southern border. On its western side, the Mayacamas Mountains guard it from the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean; to its east stand the Vaca Mountains. In conjunction, these mountain ranges serve to lock in summer daytime heat. But in the evening, cool air from the San Pablo Bay funnels uo through the valley, creating very chilly nights. It isn’t uncommon for temperatures to drop 50 degrees, a shift that promotes the development of ideal ripeness and acidity balance in the grapes.

St. Helena contains a plethora of different soil types in a small area, which have been enhanced over centuries by rain runoff from both mountain ranges. Its vineyards cover a variety of terrain, spreading across the bucolic valley floor and its benchlands.

These ideal topographic and climatic growing conditions easily caught the attention of early winemaking pioneers. In fact, St. Helena is the birthplace of Napa Valley’s commercial wine industry. Dr. Crane founded his cellar in 1859, David Fulton in 1860 and Charles Krug in 1861.

Today there are no less than 400 separate vineyards planted within the 12,000 acres that make up the St. Helena appellation.

Revered most for its red wines based on Bordeaux varieties, the St. Helena appellation is also a source of superior Syrah, Zinfandel and Sauvignon blanc.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and here is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon blanc.

In the Glass

From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

RPT32260409_2013 Item# 135306