2001 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1007653 92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Keenly focused on varietal fruit of dried currants and black cherries with a complexing layer of rich loam, vanilla, caramel and hints of sweet spices, this medium-volume effort is supple in palate feel at entry before becoming noticeably tannic at the finish. Admittedly, it is more mannerly than muscular, but this is very good, convincingly ageworthy Cabernet that will hold up in the cellar for five to ten years.  (4/2004)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 (No tasting note given.)  (6/2004)

90 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Phelps is doing nicely, and I’m winding down on more than a case and a half of this beauty, which was a terrific value when I purchased it on release. Still a big, ripe, chewy effort, with lots of currants, pencil shavings, dried earth/herbs and a touch of chocolate, I’d call it fully mature, yet it still has a stacked mid-palate and loads of fruit, so it’s going to evolve gracefully for another decade or more easily. Give it an hour in the decanter if drinking over the coming couple of years.  (7/2017)

90 points Vinous

 Good medium ruby. Very ripe aromas of cassis, licorice, espresso and cedary, nutty oak. Sweet, concentrated and pliant, with very good breadth and depth of flavor for this basic cabernet bottling. Finishes with suave, building tannins and noteworthy persistence. (ST)  (5/2004)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a deep ruby color, along with a big, sweet nose of dried herbs intermixed with black currant, cherry, and hints of wood smoke and earth. (RP)  (2/2005)

Wine Enthusiast

 This is the sort of Cab you sip and immediately like. It’s not only rich in currant and oak, with elaborate tannins, but possesses that extra dimension of pedigree due to the balance and harmony. Not for the cellar, but great now for your best foods.  (10/2004)

Wine Spectator

 Strikes a fine balance between chewy currant, anise, blackberry and cedar scents. It firms up at midpalate and finishes with a long, rich aftertaste. Needs short-term cellaring. (JL)  (12/2003)

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Price: $59.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8