2005 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Here is a deep and yet relatively winsome young Cabernet that strikes a different stance than those in the brooding, muscle-bound crowd. Rich and wide open with sweet fruit and oak to spare, it is an overt and hedonistic wine whose pleasures need no searching to find. It has tannin enough for structure and it shows the right kind of grip at the finish, and its great virtues of plentiful fruit and fine balance are the prerequisites for a half-dozen years of further growth.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good deep ruby-red. Claret-like aromas of blackberry, currant bud, bitter chocolate, licorice and graphite, plus a whiff of garrigue Juicy and laid-back, with firm, nicely integrated acids contributing to an impression of youthful austerity. Strong dark berry and graphite character in the mouth. Gains breadth on the back end, with the tannins substantial but nicely integrated. This very lively wine should be held for a couple of years. (ST)
Smooth-textured, supple and harmonious, with subtle layers of currant, spice, herb, anise and light cedary oak, ending with a graceful mix of ripe fruit and fine-grained tannins.
Smoky plums, a dense bouquet. Very, very Napa Cab. Lots of spicy cedary oak. Grippy confident tannins, and a rather attractively self-important weight. Cassis. Suave, glossy, with resonating depth and concentration. Just a brush-flick of minty herbaceousness on the finish. Long.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon possesses aromas of creme de cassis, bay leaf, and spice box as well as soft tannins, medium body, and luscious fruit. It is a delicious, French-styled effort to drink over the next decade. (RP)