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2006 Joseph Phelps - Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 94 WA
  • 87 WS
  • 92 IWC
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 56204-2006
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 92

    ($250; bottled in January of '09) Bright ruby. Superripe aromas of cassis, graphite and mint. Sweeter and more aromatic in the mouth than the Insignia, showing a finer-grained texture and more early finesse. A rocky character and enticing violet perfume lift the middle palate, but the substantial tannins currently cut off the wine's finishing fruit. This will need patience.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2009
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 87

    An elegant style, with understated plum and berry fruit that gains richness and depth before turning drier and more herbal. The finish is marked by loamy earth flavors. Needs time. Best from 2010 through 2016. 1,128 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 94

    The single vineyard 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard from the Oakville Corridor is a monster. A 1,100-case blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec, it is bursting with aromas of charcoal, scorched earth, barbecue smoke, lead pencil shavings, graphite, cassis, blackberries, and oak. Dense purple to the rim and very closed, this is a big, muscular, full-bodied effort meant for serious long-term aging. Its potential is extraordinary, but I wouldn't want to touch a bottle for 5-8 years. It should last for three decades or more.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Drink Dates: 2008-2021
    Author: Matt O
  • Self | Rating: 87

    Unfortunately for Phelps, Laube nailed the rating on this one. Nice enough flavors, but not the depth or complexity we would expect from a $200 bottle of Backus. I will wait another year or two before I open my last bottle.
    Author: Jeffrey M989
  • Self | Rating:

    Wooden box
    Author: KK and QB Wines
Since its founding in 1972, Joseph Phelps Vineyards has been on the cutting edge of many California wine developments. From the Bordeaux-blend Insignia, first made in 1974 and Wine Spectator's wine of the year for the 2002 vintage; to the resurrection of California Syrah, also first produced in 1974, the winery has earned critical acclaim for its many estate-grown wines.

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 513 bottles owned
  • 97 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 90
    (Out of 97 collectors)