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Joseph Phelps Syrah St. Helena 2005

Winemaker's Notes:

Grapes were harvested at an average 26.00 Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 20 months in a combination of new French oak barrels (40%) and one to two-year-old French oak (60%) from coopers Francois Freres, Marcel Cadet, Ermitage, Saury, Rousseau and Meyrieux.The 2005 vintage was unusually late due to mild temperatures that averaged between 70-80º. From August 1 to October 31, only 15 days exceeded 90º, and even then it never got hotter than 98º. Despite this, color and flavors developed early on, with good sugars, though acids took longer to develop in the ripening fruit. The first grapes came in September 11th, exactly one month later than the previous year. Fermenting juice showed great color, balance and flavor, similar to the cool growing seasons of '91, '94, '95 and '99. The vintage was also characterized by high yields. A wet spring increased tonnage by an average of 30% over expectations, and given that the 2004 vintage came in at 40-45% under projections, there was a 70% swing between the two years, making 2005 yields seem even higher. Depending on vineyard and crop balance, there will be variability in fruit quality throughout the North Coast. However we were extremely fortunate that the weather stayed dry and mild as long as it did, allowing fruit to avoid dehydration from conditions that were too warm, and mildew from weather that was too wet. Elegant notes of coffee, bacon fat, licorice and white pepper mold the aromatics of the 2005 Syrah. The longer growing season produced balanced black fruit characteristics combined with dried floral notes and complex flavors that contribute to its opulence and length.Grapes were harvested at an average 260The 2005 vintage was unusually late due to mild temperatures that averaged between 70-800. From August 1 to October 31, only 15 days exceeded 900, and even then it never got hotter than 980. Despite this, color and flavors developed early on, with good sugars, though acids took longer to develop in the ripening fruit. The vintage was also characterized by high yields. A wet spring increased tonnage by an average of 30% over expectations, and given that the 2004 vintage came in at 40-45% under projections, there was a 70% swing between the two years, making 2005 yields seem even higher.Oak: French Oak

Region: USA » California » Napa » St. Helena

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  • 2005

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Color: Red
Varietal: Syrah
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Joseph Phelps Vineyards:
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned Napa Valley winery committed to crafting world class, estate grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch in Spring Valley near St. Helena, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District and South Napa Valley. Phelps is best k... Read more
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned Napa Valley winery committed to crafting world class, estate grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch in Spring Valley near St. Helena, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District and South Napa Valley. Phelps is best known for its flagship blend of red Bordeaux varietals, Insignia, first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year” in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking. Annual production at Phelps includes Insignia, Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Eisrébe, Syrah and Viognier. Read less

Member Reviews for Joseph Phelps Syrah St. Helena

Add your review
Snooth User: John Andrews
361063,418
3.00 5
05/11/2008

Very dense wine with aromas of black cherry and chocolate. Lots of acidity and alcohol. Fruit flavors good, good balance but slightly sweet to me.


Snooth User: TonyK
8797930
5.00 5
09/14/2008

This is my favorite daily wine. Smooth, easy drinking. A complex syrah based blend. Excellent year after year.


Snooth User: TonyK
8797930
0.00 5
09/14/2008

This is one of my favorate Napa syrahs. Black fruits with complex flavors. Dense, aromomic and delightful. Notes of coffee and peppery. It is a real treat for syrah lovers.


Snooth User: FernandoCabada
223569572
3.00 5
08/21/2009

Three glasses


External Reviews for Joseph Phelps Syrah St. Helena

External Review
Source: Shop Wine Direct
01/17/2009

Wine Advocate ReviewThe 2005 Le Mistral, a blend of 59% Syrah, 23% Grenache, 8% Carignan, and the rest Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouchet, offers a blast of berry fruit, pepper, earth, and spice followed by a sweet, expansive, medium to full-bodied palate, and a lush texture. This 2005 should drink well young, and evolve for 4-5 years.Wine Tasting NotesPhelps Le Mistral is a full bodied, aromatic wine with fragrances of red fruits, dried flowers and spices which are confirmed on the palate along with jammy, ripe berry flavors supported by soft, sweetly ripe tannins ending in a long finish.



Grapes were harvested at an average 26.00 Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 20 months in a combination of new French oak barrels (40%) and one to two-year-old French oak (60%) from coopers Francois Freres, Marcel Cadet, Ermitage, Saury, Rousseau and Meyrieux.The 2005 vintage was unusually late due to mild temperatures that averaged between 70-80º. From August 1 to October 31, only 15 days exceeded 90º, and even then it never got hotter than 98º. Despite this, color and flavors developed early on, with good sugars, though acids took longer to develop in the ripening fruit. The first grapes came in September 11th, exactly one month later than the previous year. Fermenting juice showed great color, balance and flavor, similar to the cool growing seasons of '91, '94, '95 and '99. The vintage was also characterized by high yields. A wet spring increased tonnage by an average of 30% over expectations, and given that the 2004 vintage came in at 40-45% under projections, there was a 70% swing between the two years, making 2005 yields seem even higher. Depending on vineyard and crop balance, there will be variability in fruit quality throughout the North Coast. However we were extremely fortunate that the weather stayed dry and mild as long as it did, allowing fruit to avoid dehydration from conditions that were too warm, and mildew from weather that was too wet. Elegant notes of coffee, bacon fat, licorice and white pepper mold the aromatics of the 2005 Syrah. The longer growing season produced balanced black fruit characteristics combined with dried floral notes and complex flavors that contribute to its opulence and length.Grapes were harvested at an average 260The 2005 vintage was unusually late due to mild temperatures that averaged between 70-800. From August 1 to October 31, only 15 days exceeded 900, and even then it never got hotter than 980. Despite this, color and flavors developed early on, with good sugars, though acids took longer to develop in the ripening fruit. The vintage was also characterized by high yields. A wet spring increased tonnage by an average of 30% over expectations, and given that the 2004 vintage came in at 40-45% under projections, there was a 70% swing between the two years, making 2005 yields seem even higher.Oak: French Oak

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