2008 Joseph Phelps "Backus" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1076639 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus is a beautifully delineated wine endowed with tons of personality and sheer class. The wine comes alive in the glass, with crushed rose petals, dark raspberry jam, licorice and spices. There is an exotic element to the fruit that is highly appealing. Today the tannins are quite firm, suggesting the wine needs at least a few more years in the cellar. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2038. (AG)  (12/2011)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Firm and intense, this is beautifully structured, with a tight, vivid core of mineral-laced raspberry, black cherry, anise and cedar flavors. Full-bodied and firming nicely on the finish, where the minerality provides a flinty edge. Drink now through 2022. (JL)  (11/2011)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Aromas of blueberry, crushed stone, licorice and violet. Very tight and energetic, with dark berry flavors complicated by meaty, smoky and saline nuances. Ultimately creamier than the Insignia, this saturates the entire mouth and leaves the taste buds vibrating. Finishes with major tongue-coating tannins, superb persistence and captivating minerality. 93(+?) (ST)  (6/2011)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 A big wine, saturated in color and tremendously extracted in fruity richness. Explodes in blackberries, cassis and sweet new oak, and the tannins are strong and refined. Not particularly drinkable now, because the parts are only clumsily melded, but seems like a serious cellar candidate. Should begin to blossom in 6–8 years and, given this wine’s history, will be rocking by 2020.  (12/2011)

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Price: $219.99
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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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- 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. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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.