2008 Joseph Phelps "Backus" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
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)
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)
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)
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.