Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

9.21790 ratings
9.1193 pro ratings
Napa Valley, California, USA
Cabernet Sauvignon
Onion, Shallot, Garlic, Pasta, Venison, Tomato-Based, Potato, Pork, Chocolate & Caramel, White Rice, Mushrooms, Beef, Lamb, Chili & Hot Spicy
Top Notes For
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.3

This was a check in on the 2007 vintage. The 07 is still very youthful and fresh. It will be another 5 years until I open another. However, it was nicely polished and perfect to close out our main course.

The body is full, lush & thick. The tannins still pronounced, round but, firm, meaty and nicely tarry. The structure & tension say this wine will last another 15-20 years properly stored. The length & balance show the excellent craft of this producer and the quality of the 2007 vintage in Napa.

It showed; very dark currants, heavily extracted. blackberries, black raspberries, black plum with skin, sweet dark tarriness, lots used dark expresso grounds, some graphite, fresh tobacco, pleasant woodiness, crushed dry rocks, limestone minerals, alluvial soils, nicely layered baking spices, some mid dark spice, incense, light herbs and fresh, dark, red, purple florals. The acidity is round and nicely executed. The long, still big, ruby, lush finish is really beautiful. However, I forward to what the 07 down the road. It is worth the wait.

Photos of; the Estate vines as viewed from their terrace, old barrels that decorate their tasting lounge, tasting terrace and main lounge area as you walk past check in.

This was a check in on the 2007 vintage. The 07 is still very youthful and fresh. It will be another 5 years until I open another. However, it was nicely polished and perfect to close out our main course.

The body is full, lush & thick. The tannins still pronounced, round but, firm, meaty and nicely tarry. The structure & tension say this wine will last another 15-20 years properly stored. The length & balance show the excellent craft of this producer and the quality of the 2007 vintage in Napa.

It showed; very dark currants, heavily extracted. blackberries, black raspberries, black plum with skin, sweet dark tarriness, lots used dark expresso grounds, some graphite, fresh tobacco, pleasant woodiness, crushed dry rocks, limestone minerals, alluvial soils, nicely layered baking spices, some mid dark spice, incense, light herbs and fresh, dark, red, purple florals. The acidity is round and nicely executed. The long, still big, ruby, lush finish is really beautiful. However, I forward to what the 07 down the road. It is worth the wait.

Photos of; the Estate vines as viewed from their terrace, old barrels that decorate their tasting lounge, tasting terrace and main lounge area as you walk past check in.

Sep 29th, 2019
Matt Lasater

Nice, medium bodied CS, lack overt richness but charms its way through with the finesse and acid drive it has. Loved the herbal notes this had, mint, cigar, and savory spice. Would’ve liked to seen this with proper aeration, last sips were really starting to come around. 1L

Nice, medium bodied CS, lack overt richness but charms its way through with the finesse and acid drive it has. Loved the herbal notes this had, mint, cigar, and savory spice. Would’ve liked to seen this with proper aeration, last sips were really starting to come around. 1L

Dec 25th, 2018
Kellin

Plum tart, neoprene, and vanilla on the nose. Deep, rich cacao, currant, light smoky barrel notes. Beautiful.

Plum tart, neoprene, and vanilla on the nose. Deep, rich cacao, currant, light smoky barrel notes. Beautiful.

Nov 22nd, 2018
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.3

The nose reveals, floral, ripe; blueberries blackberries, dark cherries, plum, boysenberries, strawberries and black raspberries. Limestone minerals, dry crush rocks, dark spice, sweet tarry notes, steeped tea, vanilla, some clove, a whiff of nutmeg, dark chocolate, saddle-wood to cedar, some black licorice, garrigue with blue flowers, violets and withering dark florals.

The body is medium full, round and lush. The tannins are around 80% resolved and still have some sticky tar. The structure, tension, length & balance have nearly come about to full evolution. Ripe; blueberries blackberries, dark cherries, baked plum, boysenberries, strawberries and black raspberries. Limestone minerals, dry crush rocks, dark spice, sweet tarry notes, steeped tea, vanilla, some clove, a whiff of nutmeg, dark chocolate, a little mushroom on the last glass, saddle-wood to cedar, some black licorice, garrigue, dry clay & top soil with blue flowers, violets and withering dark florals. The acidy is like a waterfall. The finish is ripe, elegant, well balanced, polished with powdery dry tannins on the long set. It’s finish is persistent for minutes.

Photos of; the Joseph Phelps tasting terrace, inside lounge area with original old vats and the spectacular view off the terrace.

@Dawn Emory Sampling wines along their evolutionary path is amazing. My thoughts still haven’t changed great wine for less $ with patience.

The nose reveals, floral, ripe; blueberries blackberries, dark cherries, plum, boysenberries, strawberries and black raspberries. Limestone minerals, dry crush rocks, dark spice, sweet tarry notes, steeped tea, vanilla, some clove, a whiff of nutmeg, dark chocolate, saddle-wood to cedar, some black licorice, garrigue with blue flowers, violets and withering dark florals.

The body is medium full, round and lush. The tannins are around 80% resolved and still have some sticky tar. The structure, tension, length & balance have nearly come about to full evolution. Ripe; blueberries blackberries, dark cherries, baked plum, boysenberries, strawberries and black raspberries. Limestone minerals, dry crush rocks, dark spice, sweet tarry notes, steeped tea, vanilla, some clove, a whiff of nutmeg, dark chocolate, a little mushroom on the last glass, saddle-wood to cedar, some black licorice, garrigue, dry clay & top soil with blue flowers, violets and withering dark florals. The acidy is like a waterfall. The finish is ripe, elegant, well balanced, polished with powdery dry tannins on the long set. It’s finish is persistent for minutes.

Photos of; the Joseph Phelps tasting terrace, inside lounge area with original old vats and the spectacular view off the terrace.

@Dawn Emory Sampling wines along their evolutionary path is amazing. My thoughts still haven’t changed great wine for less $ with patience.

Nov 17th, 2018
"Odedi"

Time for my #FridayCabernetfix. Here is a gorgeous Napa Valley Cabernet.

Dark ruby in color with a short purple rim.

Great nose of blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, cooked cherries, raisins, figs, vanilla, earth, tobacco, licorice, graphite, leather, chocolates, mocha, black pepper and spices.

Full-bodied and bold with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry and fruity on the palate with blackberries, black currants, sweet cherries, raisins, vanilla, cola, oak, licorice, spices, coffee, pencil lead, peppercorn, leather, tobacco, earth and spices.

Long finish with round tannins and spices.

This is an awesome Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Well balanced and fruity with nice complexity and a great mouthfeel.


Good right out of the bottle and way better after 3 hours in the decanter. Good by itself or with food, like a big piece of steak.

This is a great wine from a great vintage. Could age for another 20 years.

I paired it with cheeses and light appetizers.

14.5% alcohol by volume.

93 points.

$75.

Time for my #FridayCabernetfix. Here is a gorgeous Napa Valley Cabernet.

Dark ruby in color with a short purple rim.

Great nose of blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, cooked cherries, raisins, figs, vanilla, earth, tobacco, licorice, graphite, leather, chocolates, mocha, black pepper and spices.

Full-bodied and bold with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry and fruity on the palate with blackberries, black currants, sweet cherries, raisins, vanilla, cola, oak, licorice, spices, coffee, pencil lead, peppercorn, leather, tobacco, earth and spices.

Long finish with round tannins and spices.

This is an awesome Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Well balanced and fruity with nice complexity and a great mouthfeel.


Good right out of the bottle and way better after 3 hours in the decanter. Good by itself or with food, like a big piece of steak.

This is a great wine from a great vintage. Could age for another 20 years.

I paired it with cheeses and light appetizers.

14.5% alcohol by volume.

93 points.

$75.

Nov 9th, 2018
Bill Bender

I tend to dismiss the Phelps Cab in favor of the Insignia or Backus but this is still a tremendous wine and Phelps in general has maintained amazing quality as it’s grown. Most of my fond memories of Napa during the mid 2000s involved weekends that started at Phelps for Insignia Release Weekends. They would walk around with decanters or mags of old Insignia, Cab or Backus all day. It was nirvana.

I tend to dismiss the Phelps Cab in favor of the Insignia or Backus but this is still a tremendous wine and Phelps in general has maintained amazing quality as it’s grown. Most of my fond memories of Napa during the mid 2000s involved weekends that started at Phelps for Insignia Release Weekends. They would walk around with decanters or mags of old Insignia, Cab or Backus all day. It was nirvana.

Nov 2nd, 2018
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.1

The 2015 Napa has a much more expressive nose than previous vintages. The mid red fruits are brighter and more dominant. Ripe; blackberries, strawberries, dark cherries, pomegranate, cranberries, black raspberries and blueberry hues. Good presence of vanilla, cinnamon, very light clove, limestone, dark turned, rich earth, light dry crushed rocks, soft leather, blue florals and fresh red & blue florals.

The body is also much lighter in the 15 than other vintages. It’s still very fresh. At this stage, it’s like a well extracted Pinot. Ripe; blackberries, strawberries, dark cherries, pomegranate, cranberries, black raspberries and blueberry hues. Good presence of vanilla, cinnamon, very light clove, limestone, dry clay, stems, mint, Provence fresh herbs, dark turned, rich earth, dry crushed rocks, soft leather, blue florals and fresh red & blue florals. The acidity is light a waterfall. The finish is bright fruit that is well balanced with earth. However, as it cellars, I predict this wine with flush out, put on weight and gain complexity. Much better palate experiences 10-15 years plus down the road for this 15 Napa.

Photos of, the terrace view from JPV’s visitors center, the JPV annual members party small bites, the lounge area in their visitor center and estate vineyard off their terrace.

The 2015 Napa has a much more expressive nose than previous vintages. The mid red fruits are brighter and more dominant. Ripe; blackberries, strawberries, dark cherries, pomegranate, cranberries, black raspberries and blueberry hues. Good presence of vanilla, cinnamon, very light clove, limestone, dark turned, rich earth, light dry crushed rocks, soft leather, blue florals and fresh red & blue florals.

The body is also much lighter in the 15 than other vintages. It’s still very fresh. At this stage, it’s like a well extracted Pinot. Ripe; blackberries, strawberries, dark cherries, pomegranate, cranberries, black raspberries and blueberry hues. Good presence of vanilla, cinnamon, very light clove, limestone, dry clay, stems, mint, Provence fresh herbs, dark turned, rich earth, dry crushed rocks, soft leather, blue florals and fresh red & blue florals. The acidity is light a waterfall. The finish is bright fruit that is well balanced with earth. However, as it cellars, I predict this wine with flush out, put on weight and gain complexity. Much better palate experiences 10-15 years plus down the road for this 15 Napa.

Photos of, the terrace view from JPV’s visitors center, the JPV annual members party small bites, the lounge area in their visitor center and estate vineyard off their terrace.

Oct 9th, 2018
Joakim Andersson

Chewy. Mouth watering fruit and a lot of punch. Feels young and brawny but balanced.

Chewy. Mouth watering fruit and a lot of punch. Feels young and brawny but balanced.

Oct 5th, 2018
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.3

Our dinner bottle at the best steakhouse in Napa Valley, Cole’s Chop House. There is only one steak to order at Cole’s with your Old World or Napa Cabernet...their Bone-in Ribeye. It’s clearly their best steak.

Each time I have a good year Phelps Napa Cabernet that is 15 years and older, I now find myself asking, why did I even bother buying their Insignia & Backus for three times the price? Because right now, this is so good, one has to wonder is it worth it? Not that older Insignias & Backus aren’t great but, are they worth three times the price?

One this nose, sweet, ruby, ripe; dark cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, poached strawberries, blue fruits and a hint of cooked rhubarb. Dark chocolate, vanillin, cinnamon, clove, black cherry cola, sweet, rich black turned earth, crush red rocks, used leather, sweet tarry notes, stems, green dry herbs, volcanic minerals, limestone and fresh red & blue floral with violets.

The body is lush, ruby and full. Tannins 75% resolved, slightly tarry and a touch sticky. The length, structure, tension and balance are right at its peak. It so fresh and glides over the palate. Ruby, ripe; dark cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, poached strawberries, blue fruits and a hint of cooked rhubarb. Dark chocolate, vanillin, cinnamon, clove, black cherry cola, eucalyptus, mint, sweet, sweet rich black turned earth, crush red rocks, used leather, stems, green dry herbs, volcanic minerals, limestone and fresh red floral and violets. The acidity is like a waterfall and perfectly executed. The long ruby, ripe, lush, elegant, floral fruit finish is incredible and lasts minutes. So good.

If you are drinking the Joseph Phelps Napa Cabernet in good vintages before 15 years, you are cheating yourself out of a very special experience!

Photos of, the view from the terrace at Joseph Phelps, the entrance to Cole’s Chop House, Cole’s outside dining and barrels inside the Joseph Phelps tastings room.

Our dinner bottle at the best steakhouse in Napa Valley, Cole’s Chop House. There is only one steak to order at Cole’s with your Old World or Napa Cabernet...their Bone-in Ribeye. It’s clearly their best steak.

Each time I have a good year Phelps Napa Cabernet that is 15 years and older, I now find myself asking, why did I even bother buying their Insignia & Backus for three times the price? Because right now, this is so good, one has to wonder is it worth it? Not that older Insignias & Backus aren’t great but, are they worth three times the price?

One this nose, sweet, ruby, ripe; dark cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, poached strawberries, blue fruits and a hint of cooked rhubarb. Dark chocolate, vanillin, cinnamon, clove, black cherry cola, sweet, rich black turned earth, crush red rocks, used leather, sweet tarry notes, stems, green dry herbs, volcanic minerals, limestone and fresh red & blue floral with violets.

The body is lush, ruby and full. Tannins 75% resolved, slightly tarry and a touch sticky. The length, structure, tension and balance are right at its peak. It so fresh and glides over the palate. Ruby, ripe; dark cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, poached strawberries, blue fruits and a hint of cooked rhubarb. Dark chocolate, vanillin, cinnamon, clove, black cherry cola, eucalyptus, mint, sweet, sweet rich black turned earth, crush red rocks, used leather, stems, green dry herbs, volcanic minerals, limestone and fresh red floral and violets. The acidity is like a waterfall and perfectly executed. The long ruby, ripe, lush, elegant, floral fruit finish is incredible and lasts minutes. So good.

If you are drinking the Joseph Phelps Napa Cabernet in good vintages before 15 years, you are cheating yourself out of a very special experience!

Photos of, the view from the terrace at Joseph Phelps, the entrance to Cole’s Chop House, Cole’s outside dining and barrels inside the Joseph Phelps tastings room.

Aug 21st, 2018
Shay A
9.4

Rockstar pull by @Mark Flesher ! Drinking extremely well almost at pop and pour. Dark fruits, cocoa dusted dates and earthy raspberries on the nose. Front palate and mid palate are still flaunting nice acidity. Finish is smooth and still in a nice window!

Rockstar pull by @Mark Flesher ! Drinking extremely well almost at pop and pour. Dark fruits, cocoa dusted dates and earthy raspberries on the nose. Front palate and mid palate are still flaunting nice acidity. Finish is smooth and still in a nice window!

Jul 26th, 2018