2008 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1080082 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec) is an impressive version. Their 1975 Cabernet Sauvignon is still alive at age 35. The 2008s dense ruby/purple color is followed by an attractive bouquet of creme de cassis and charcoal. Revealing full-bodied richness and lots of depth, it is one of the finest regular Cabernet Sauvignons Phelps has made in many years. The tannins have sweetened over the last year and this impressively endowed effort, while approachable now, should age for 20+ years. (RP)  (12/2010)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Lots of sweet spice and touches of smoke sit atop a good dose of well-ripened fruit in the nose and then again on the palate, and in each venue fruit lags a step or two behind ripeness and obvious oak. That said, the wine still has a fine sense of richness, and with a bit of time on the cork, it should both find a fruitier focus and shed a bit of the toughness that its nominal tannins now bring to bear.  (8/2011)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark ruby-red. Showy aromas of cassis, cedar and flowers. Sweet and ripe but a bit youthfully austere compared to the 2007 and 2009 versions, showing a strong core of blueberry and cassis fruit. This very tight wine is taking its time to open up but appears to have the fruit intensity to support its serious tannic spine.  (5/2011)

Wine Enthusiast

 Made in the Phelps style, big, muscular and ripe, showing powerful blackberry, cherry, blueberry, licorice, spice and sweet oak flavors...showy and appealing.  (9/2011)

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Price: $54.99

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5