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2012 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1172731 92 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark A solid red with currants, berries and hints of licorice and spice. Full body, firm tannins and a long, long finish. Shows length and beauty. Inner quote mark (7/2015)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Rich and concentrated in red cherry, cigar and plum, this demurely approachable and enjoyable wine has the legs to age. Structured and tightly drawn, it holds a tannic overbite that eases in the glass. *Cellar Selection* (VB) Inner quote mark (9/2015)

89-91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Bright, deep ruby. Serious aromas of blueberry, licorice and menthol. Shows very good sweetness and density to the black fruit and curry powder flavors. Still tightly wound but the tannins are nicely integrated, showing none of the harsh edge of the 2011 version. Finishes with sneaky length. (ST) Inner quote mark (6/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes from holdings throughout the valley, is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and tiny quantities of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. In what was a generous vintage, yields were surprisingly modest at 2.5 tons of fruit per acre. The wine exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with sweet, smoky blackcurrant, unsmoked cigar tobacco and forest floor characteristics. This medium-bodied, elegant, rich wine can be drunk now or cellared for 15+ years. This venerable winery continues to turn out a bevy of impressive wines in both 2012 and 2013. (RP) Inner quote mark (10/2014)


Outer quote mark The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a picture-perfect example of the year. Dark blue and black fruits, smoke, licorice, spices, menthol and new leather flesh out in the glass. The 2012 is supple, racy and expressive, even at this early stage. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. (AG) Inner quote mark (12/2014)

K&L Notes

The 2012 vintage marks the 40th release of Cabernet from Joseph Phelps Vineyards. This is made from the same vineyards as the possible well-reviewed 2012 Insignia (given 96-100 points on release by Robert Parker)! We have seen many changes at Joseph Phelps in the last few years. They are producing fewer wines and have refocused their efforts on Cabernet in particular. As a result, this Cabernet is now 100% estate grown. The 2012 saw 40% new oak barrels and 60% two-year-old barrels. Half of the oak is American and half is French. Fans of California Cabernet will love this wine. It is rich, concentrated in the mouth, with blackberry fruit, graphite and spicy oak lingering in the back. I love how rich the fruit manages to be without turning sweet. There is structure and tannin, but it is balanced, seamless and silky on the finish. (Trey Beffa, K&L Domestic Buyer)

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Price: $59.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/4/2014 | Send Email
Fans of California Cabernet will love this wine. It is rich, concentrated in the mouth with blackberry fruit, graphite and spicy oak, which lingers in the back. What I loved about this wine is the richness of fruit without being sweet. There is structure and tannin but it is balanced, seamless and silky on the finish

By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2014 | Send Email
If you have not had this wine recently this is the perfect vintage to renew your acquaintance with this unparalleled Napa value. Since 2009 Phelps has shifted entirely to estate grown fruit, reducing their overall production and improving quality. They now consider their estate wine something of a "second wine to Insignia" at one third of the price. This 2012 vintage is stunning, with loads of dark fruit and fine tannins. If you are a fan of Napa Cabernet, this is a "must try." Do not miss out.
Top Value!

By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2014 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
I am always excited to taste the most recent release of Cabernet Sauvignon from Joseph Phelps since it is one of my perennial favorites. From the very first sniff from the glass I was brought back to my initial tasting impressions from our En Primeur trip to Bordeaux when we tasted the heralded 2009 vintage. The wine displays amazing depth with layers of fruit flavors as well as aromas cola, crushed berries, five spice and mocha notes. A fresh and lively palate consisting of fresh blackberries, crème de cassis and dusty tannins nicely augments against bright acidity. The wine finishes with a supple display of fruit and silky tannins with just a kiss of dark chocolate lingering at the end.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

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