1994 Joseph Phelps - Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard 750ml

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WA 94   WS 89   Customer 93
1994 Joseph Phelps - Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine

Wine Advocate | Rating: 94

I believe the 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is the finest wine this vineyard has yet produced. Sadly, only 600 cases are produced. The 6.75-acre Backus Vineyard is situated in a high rent neighborhood - the Dalla Valle, Plumpjack, Groth, Venge Family Reserve, and Screaming Eagle vineyards surround it! Phelps' 1994 Backus exhibits an opaque black/purple color, and huge, sweet aromatics consisting of jammy black cherry and cassis fruit, minerals, smoke, and a hickory-like barbecue spice. The wine is thick and super-extracted, with huge proportions of fruit, extract, and tannin. A gargantuan Cabernet Sauvignon, it demands 5-6 years of cellaring, and should last for 20-25 years. In spite of Phelps' worthy efforts with respect to its Mistral portfolio and excellent Chardonnays and sweet wines, this winery's international reputation is built on their Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The 1997s Cabernet Sauvignons I tasted were amazingly extracted and rich. About a half dozen of the top wineries even admitted they added water to the fermenting vats because the wines were so high in alcohol and thickly textured! So much for vintage character and terroir! Joseph Phelps was not one of those wineries, but I did have a chance to taste some extraordinary lots of 1997 Cabernets at Phelps that left me shaking my head at what continues to happen during the decade of the nineties for California's best wineries. Stay tuned.

Drink Dates: 2002-2022
Author: Robert Parker

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Wine Spectator | Rating: 89

Marked by dense, earthy, chewy tannins and a strong minty edge, the latter so strong it overshadows the currant and berry flavors. Definitely needs time in the bottle to round out and soften, so hands off until 2000. 600 cases made.

Author: James Laube

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Customer Reviews For This Wine

Rating: 95
Author: Jito72
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 09/21/2014
Drink Dates: 2002-2018
Waoo who good have aged this venerable single vineyard Cabernets wine. Still big, bold but is drinking beautiful with black fruits of blackcherry, blackberry along with a nice toasty oak, forest floor and such peppery than makes such great Cabernets. Won its flight and one of the the top 3 of the 12 94 wines tasting.

Rating: 94
Author: Hal
Trust Rating: 95
Tasted On: 07/12/2009
Drink Dates: 2009-2019

Author: MikeA
Trust Rating: 100
Tasted On: 12/28/2008
Gorgeous wine. Fully bodied and tons of black fruits. Still a bit of a baby I'm shocked to say. Well integrated tannins but plenty of hearty life left in this wine. Not sure it gets any better than this but I think it has another 15+ years of life easily.

Rating: 90
Author: Steven H695
Trust Rating: 95
Tasted On: 11/06/2008

0 of 1 people found this review useful.

More Vintages and Sizes of Joseph Phelps - Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard:

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About This Producer

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.

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