1993 Joseph Phelps "Backus" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #902205 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This has become an extraordinary wine. It boasts an opaque purple color, followed by a fabulous nose of licorice, jammy black-cherry, cassis fruit, minerals, and smoke. Powerful, full-bodied, moderately tannic yet exceptionally well-endowed, this wine needs another 2-4 years of cellaring; it will keep for 20+ years. The most limited-production Cabernet in the Phelps portfolio is the single-vineyard Backus Cabernet. It is a 6.75 acre parcel superbly situated south of the Oakville Crossroad next to such Napa heavyweights as Dalla Valle and Screaming Eagle. This wine has reached new heights in quality over recent vintages, and I would enthusiastically suggest that readers search out the Backus Cabernet Sauvignon. There is not much made, with a production of under 1,000 cases... Some of the greatest California red wines were made at this winery during the seventies, wines that remain reference points today. Consider for example, the 1974 Insignia, 1975 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa, 1975 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele, 1976 Insignia, 1977 Insignia, and 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele - all splendid California red wines that have aged effortlessly as well as gracefully. The vintages of the nineties offer the potential for wines that will equal if not eclipse some of those legends. (RP)  (12/1996)

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Price: $139.99
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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 M├ędoc 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.