2008 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
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)
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.
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.
Made in the Phelps style, big, muscular and ripe, showing powerful blackberry, cherry, blueberry, licorice, spice and sweet oak flavors...showy and appealing.