Editorial Reviews for Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Backus Vineyard
Subtle and precise on the nose with very pure creme de cassis, hot iron and rocks and a touch of toast. In the mouth this is rich and chewy but so well balanced with wonderfully fresh, ripe fruit and a long, spicy, mineral rich finish. Really a baby but with grand potential and it really delivers alot already. Another Fine Backus, one of California's Grand Cru vineyards. 94pts.
Fantastic; one of the best that I've had in many years. Rich, long lasting dryness on the back of the tongue. Blackberry bouquet with a touch of cherry, but no fruity sweetness. Excellent body. Taste develops differently with each glass. Don't miss this one.
Update: Got to try it again ... smoke and toast. Smooth, silky mouth feel. Great wine.
Well done wine, all levels reach the top. An excellent wine with full mouth fee, rich aromas, long aftertaset and great future! If only it was cheaper in europe....
Thick, juicy. Its still young and tight, but you can taste its power. Good minerality and structure. Will clearly age for a decade or so. Best not to open another one for a couple of years I'd say
Corn and basil/cilantro on the nose. Spicy mouth with black pepper and wonderful tannins.
Deep ripe vanilla aromas. Palate is big, with good oak and light acidity -- good soft tannins and just a touch of sweetness. It's great now, but lay this one away for later.
Amazing - still really young but absolutely amazing....
External Reviews for Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Backus Vineyard
The 2007 Insignia (a 13,500-case blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot) offers a seamless introduction to this flagship cuvee. Its inky/purple color is followed by aromas of creme de cassis, incense, crushed rocks, lead pencil shavings, cedar, and spice box. It possesses a massive, opulent mouthfeel, serious tannins, and no hard edges. This stunning effort should hit its peak in 5-8 years, and last 40 years. I would not be surprised to see it become the greatest Insignia to date and close in on a perfect score.
Firm, intense and concentrated, massive yet well-proportioned, with a dense, focused core of graphite, dried currant, blackberry, black tea, forest floor and blueberry flavors. Full-blown, finishing with rich, layered tannins that beg for cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2013 through 2025.
Bright ruby. Claret-like nose offers cassis, minerals, bitter chocolate and strong soil tones. Densely packed and quite tight today, in a classically dry style. But there's also superb sex appeal and excellent energy to the flavors of plum, currant, licorice, bitter chocolate and spices. Most impressive today on the long, chocolatey aftertaste.
Since 2004, 100% of the Bordeaux varietals used in the Insignia proprietary blend have been from estate vineyards. The beautiful, dense ruby/purple-tinged 2005 Insignia (a 12,500 case blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec) possesses sweet aromas of black cherries, cassis, chocolate, camphor, and a subtle hint of roasted herbs. Medium to full-bodied and elegant, with a European style imposed on the rich, velvety, California fruit, this cuvée will benefit from several years of bottle age, and should easily keep for three decades.
Bright ruby-red. Highly complex nose melds currant, black licorice, lead pencil, mocha, bitter chocolate and fresh herbs. Deep and sweet in the middle, with juicy acidity giving shape to the concentrated, silky flavors of cassis and dark chocolate. This, too, is downright Bordeaux-like. Finishes with broad, lush tannins and excellent length. This has fleshed out nicely since I tasted it from barrel a year ago but should still be kept for a minimum of five or six years.
The 2007 Insignia (a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot) looks to be one of the greatest wines yet produced at this historic winery. Beautiful aromas of creme de cassis and flowers jump from the glass of this dense purple-colored effort. Sweet oak is present, but it is pushed to the background by the wine's extravagant wealth of fruit and full-bodied power. This is finesse and flavor authority put into a classic Napa Valley Cabernet with a seamless integration of all its component parts. Already complex and approachable, it should evolve for three decades or more, but who can resist it now? It is a staggering, complex expression of Napa viticulture. Anticipated maturity: now-2030. Another great success for Phelps, the 2007 and 2008 Insignias may be the best back-to-back vintages they have produced since 1995 and 1994. The 2008 has some tannins to resolve whereas the 2007 has already assimilated them.
Smooth, supple and complex, offering wonderful aromas and serving up a range of herb- and mineral-laced currant, black cherry, blackberry, sage and pebble notes. Ends with a clipped edge. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Best from 2011 through 2018. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.