2014 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon

Year: 2014
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 89-92
James Suckling: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$59.95

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"Phelps is now producing three cuvées of Cabernet Sauvignon – their Napa Valley, their flagship proprietary red Bordeaux blend called Insignia (which they debuted in 1974), and their Oakville steep hillside vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon called Backus. The basic Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It saw 18 months in a combination of both French and American casks. This is their biggest cuvée (27,000 cases) and it is a beauty. The 2014 is supple, with silky tannins, dark plum, blackcurrant and licorice-infused fruit with a touch of spice, a lushness on the attack and mid-palate, and a silky finish. This wine was meant for early drinking, but there is no doubt it has the concentration and overall balance to age nicely for 15-20 years.

This classic Napa winery has undergone a facelift after many, many years, but perhaps the biggest change has been the huge investment they’ve made in the area of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast. This is where they focus on Chardonnay and, to a bigger extent, Pinot Noir, and the early returns look promising." (WA)

"Although still in barrel, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon might turn out better than the 2013. Intensely mineral and savory, with plenty of rich, inky fruit, the 2014 has all the potential to be an overachiever in its peer group. Graphite, smoke, black cherries and blueberry jam are some of the signatures. This is a very serious wine in its class. " (VM)

"Layered and subtle with currant, light chocolate, almond and cedar character. Medium body, polished tannins and a flavorful finish, yet this always reserved and polished. Enjoy. Drink or hold." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Winemaking Notes:
Grapes were sorted and cold soaked prior to fermentation. The wine was aged for eighteen months in 45% new oak barrels (55% French, 45% American) and 55% two-year-old French and American oak barrels before bottling in June, 2016. The barrel coopers used included Ermitage, François Frères, Demptos (French & American), Canton (American) and Barrel Associates (American).The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon highlights blackberry, dried blueberry and violet with notes of graphite and cloves followed by opulent layers of black currant jam, roasted coffee, tobacco, dried fig and vanilla bean. A full-bodied, deeply concentrated wine with supple tannins and a lengthy finish.

Growing Season:
The 2014 Napa Valley growing season began with mild winter temperatures and dry conditions until February. Spring rains brought much needed moisture to the soil and filled our vineyard reservoirs. Bud break occurred three to four weeks earlier than 2013 with an average period between bud break and bloom. Frost was of no issue and the February and March rains provided for optimum vine growth. Consistent temperatures during the summer growing months with very few heat spikes created ideal ripening conditions for an early harvest. At the onset of harvest, the flavors, acidity and tannins were further along in their development than the two previous years. Grapes achieved phenomenal fruit characteristics early and their maturation occurred at a steady, even pace. Consistency in the blocks and intense flavors at harvest were key characteristics to 2014.