2007 Joseph Phelps "Backus" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1078788 97 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Three stars* This bottling plays the slightly bigger brother to the more refined Insignia below, but it too is driven by an altogether impressive sense of careful winemaking and comes equipped with a keenly focused, precise, riveting personality keyed on deep, compelling wonderfully concentrated black currant fruit juxtaposed against wholly complementary oak spice. It steers clear of coarseness, yet it is high in very firm and tailored structural tannins, and it is to be laid away for a decade please. It should last two decades and will not surprise us if it is still alive and going strong even at that point.  (12/2010)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard boasts a stunningly pure nose of blueberries and blackberries with notions of toast and flowers in the background. Thefloral nature of the fruit only adds to the wine’s complexity. Full-bodied but civilized, this wine’s tannins can be borderline rustic, but that’s not an issue with this glorious, full-bodied, opulent 2007 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink it over the next three decades. (RP)  (12/2010)

96 points James Suckling

 A complex nose of flowers, grilled meats, currants, and dark fruits. Truly intense and thought provoking. Full bodied, with powerful polished tannins. This is elegant and solid, notes of sandalwood and blue slate on the finish. 1,000 cases made and only available at the winery.  (1/2011)

96 points Wine Spectator

 A stylish, elegant youngster, with vivid mocha-covered raspberry, blackberry, red and black licorice flavors. Full-bodied and notably complex, tight and focused, ending with a persistent beam of flavors and firm tannins, with a dash of tobacco and cedar. Best from 2011 through 2022. (JL)  (10/2010)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Shows the Bacchus profile of ripe blackberry and cassis fruit, pure, strong tannins and exceptional balance. It’s a dry, classically structured Cabernet of enormous complexity and interest. So delicious now, it’s tempting to drink, but it’s way too young. This is a wine to cellar, and it should blossom over the next 20 years.  (2/2011)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full ruby. Plum liqueur and chocolate on the nose. Supple on entry, then quite backward in the middle, showing a restrained sweetness and a distinctly savory character. Finishes with substantial toothcoating tannins. Essentially suave wine but in need of at least five or six years of cellaring. (ST)  (5/2010)

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.