Joseph Phelps Vineyards Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, 750ml
"The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is very nicely balanced from start to finish. In this vintage, the Backus isn’t as overtly ripe as it can be. Hints of tobacco, crushed flowers, new leather and spices add complexity to the inky black fruit. Firm, powerful tannins suggest it will be years before the 2009 is ready to provide maximum pleasure. From time to time, the wine’s inner perfume and expressive black fruit show a glimpse of their potential, but the 2009 is a wine that begs for cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029.
Winemaker Ashley Hepworth has done a fabulous job with these new releases. While most of the attention at Phelps centers around the flagships Insignia and Backus, over the last few years I have been equally impressed with the straight Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that delivers tremendous bang for the buck. In addition to these wines, I also tasted a few Syrahs from the 1970s. Today, Phelps is known for their Cabernet Sauvignons, but it is also worth remembering Joe Phelps was the first grower to introduce Syrah to the Napa Valley several decades ago."