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In the late 60s, Joseph Phelps was running one of the largest construction companies in the U.S. when he won the bid to build Souverain Winery (now Rutherford Hill) located a few miles outside of St. Helena. Enamored with the beautiful Napa Valley and contemplating a career change, in 1973 he bought the 600-acre Connolly cattle ranch in Spring Valley, and began planting vineyards. The winery was completed in 1974 and that same year the first Syrah was made, the first grapes were crushed at the...
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon highlights blackberry, dried blueberry and violet with notes of graphite and cloves followed by opulent layers of black currant jam, roasted coffee, tobacco, dried fig and vanilla bean. A full-bodied, deeply concentrated wine with supple tannins and a lengthy finish.
The 2014 Napa Valley growing season began with mild winter temperatures and dry conditions until February. Spring rains brought much needed moisture to the soil and filled our vineyard reservoirs. Bud break occurred three to four weeks earlier than 2013 with an average period between bud break and bloom. Frost was of no issue and the February and March rains provided for optimum vine growth. Consistent temperatures during the summer growing months with very few heat spikes created ideal ripening conditions for an early harvest. At the onset of harvest, the flavors, acidity and tannins were further along in their development than the two previous years. Grapes achieved phenomenal fruit characteristics early and their maturation occurred at a steady, even pace. Consistency in the blocks and intense flavors at harvest were key characteristics to 2014.
Grapes were sorted and cold soaked prior to fermentation. The wine was aged for eighteen months in 45% new oak barrels (55% French, 45% American) and 55% two-year-old French and American oak barrels before bottling in June, 2016. The barrel coopers used included Ermitage, François Frères, Demptos (French & American), Canton (American) and Barrel Associates (American).
- 93 Points -
Layered and subtle with currant, light chocolate, almond and cedar character. Medium body, polished tannins and a flavorful finish, yet this is always reserved and polished. Enjoy.See detailed press review
- 93 Points -
This wine is predominately Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller amounts of other Bordeaux red varieties. Together, they offer bold, ripe red-currant and -berry flavors, with a rich entry and gravelly texture. Highly stylized, grippy tannins and a leather note provide additional strength.See detailed press review
- 93 Points -
The 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc from estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards. The wine was aged 18 months in 45% new oak barrels (55% French, 45% American) and 55% two-year-old French and American oak barrels. It opens to aromas of blackberries and dark currants woven together with violets, graphite, anise and mocha notes all bursting from the glass. Full-bodied and voluptuous, this delivers layers of ripe dark fruits which expand onto the long, multi-tiered finish, where spices and mocha notes linger. Overall, this is another simply delicious Cabernet from Joseph Phelps which will continue to evolve beautifully for many years to come.See detailed press review
- 92 Points -
Phelps is now producing three cuvées of Cabernet Sauvignon – their Napa Valley, their flagship proprietary red Bordeaux blend called Insignia (which they debuted in 1974), and their Oakville steep hillside vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon called Backus. The basic Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It saw 18 months in a combination of both French and American casks. This is their biggest cuvée (27,000 cases) and it is a beauty. The 2014 is supple, with silky tannins, dark plum, blackcurrant and licorice-infused fruit with a touch of spice, a lushness on the attack and mid-palate, and a silky finish. This wine was meant for early drinking, but there is no doubt it has the concentration and overall balance to age nicely for 15-20 years.See detailed press review