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Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Sauvignon Blanc from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
  • CG93
  • WW92
  • WS92
  • JS91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc showcases fragrant lime blossom, stone fruit and orange peel with tangy green apple, sumptuous lemon curd and juicy white peach. An opulent, textured mouthfeel with racy acidity frame a brightly focused wine with pleasing minerality and a lingering finish.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 93
Connoisseurs' Guide
Fresh, ripe and fairly complex on the nose with a temperate, but incisive streak of herbs and grass and a deft touch of oak working in consort with its ample, very continuous fruit, this lovely effort puts its cards face up on the table for all to see. While impeccably balanced and sure to provide delicious drinking for many years, it is an outgoing and wonderfully polished Sauvignon Blanc with immense immediate appeal, and it demonstrates the range and the layered interest that well-made examples of the variety are capable of achieving.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Bright and pleasing, the 2015 Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc offers ripe stone fruits and savory notes. The wine's rich and crisp palate pairs it well with panko-crusted English sole. (Tasted: February 16, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Juicy lime sherbet, kiwi and pineapple flavors mingle with notes of smoke and toasted cumin in this complex and harmonious white, which delivers plenty of intensity on the spicy, peach-infused finish. Drink now. 1,500 cases made.
JS 91
James Suckling
A sauvignon blanc that shows floral character, apple pie and cloves. A full body, creamy texture and a long and sour finish.
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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.

SWS442892_2015 Item# 165056