Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

9.21628 ratings
9.1174 pro ratings
Napa Valley, California, USA
Cabernet Sauvignon
Top Notes For
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
Thomas Brenner

Well integrated tannins, lush fruityness, sweet vanillin notes, overripe plums, juicy, dusty minerality ...my buddy says it smelled like Copenhagen chewing tobacco

Well integrated tannins, lush fruityness, sweet vanillin notes, overripe plums, juicy, dusty minerality ...my buddy says it smelled like Copenhagen chewing tobacco

Jun 21st, 2018
WineMascot

1992, great acidity and hint blue and plum fruit. Brick like mineral finish, almost reminded me of an Italian wine with comparable age. Nice one here, fun

1992, great acidity and hint blue and plum fruit. Brick like mineral finish, almost reminded me of an Italian wine with comparable age. Nice one here, fun

Jun 7th, 2018
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.2

The 04 Napa out of 6L.

On the nose, sweet, ripe, touch of fruit liqueur; blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries and poached strawberries with hue of blue fruits on the glass edges. Light dark spice, vanilla, some black licorice, moist black earth, soft volcanic minerals, fresh purple florals and violets.

The body is medium. Tannins 50% resolved. Still showing a little austere. Ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, strawberries with hue of blue fruits on the glass edges. Light dark spice, vanilla, some black licorice, moist black earth, more gritty volcanic minerals than the nose, herbal notes, used leather, dry stems & underbrush, fresh purple florals and violets. Nice acidity and a beautiful finish in progress. Out of 6 liter, this still needs time to develop.

The 04 Napa out of 6L.

On the nose, sweet, ripe, touch of fruit liqueur; blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries and poached strawberries with hue of blue fruits on the glass edges. Light dark spice, vanilla, some black licorice, moist black earth, soft volcanic minerals, fresh purple florals and violets.

The body is medium. Tannins 50% resolved. Still showing a little austere. Ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, strawberries with hue of blue fruits on the glass edges. Light dark spice, vanilla, some black licorice, moist black earth, more gritty volcanic minerals than the nose, herbal notes, used leather, dry stems & underbrush, fresh purple florals and violets. Nice acidity and a beautiful finish in progress. Out of 6 liter, this still needs time to develop.

May 19th, 2018
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.1

The 98 Napa out of magnum.

On the nose; deep, ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, baked black plum, black raspberries, cooked cherries and hints of rhubarb. Sweet vanillin, black licorice, sweet tarry notes, red roses and withering dark floral bouquet.

The body is medium. Tannins are well resolved. These is pure ripe fruit elegance. Blackberries, dark cherries, baked black plum, black raspberries, cooked cherries, strawberries and hints of rhubarb. Sweet vanillin, black licorice, sweet tarry notes, touch of minty menthol, loamy dry soil, powdery volcanic minerals, red roses and withering dark floral bouquet. Acidity runs again like a waterfall and the finish is somewhat leaner, well balanced and lasts nearly two-minutes.

The 98 Napa out of magnum.

On the nose; deep, ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, baked black plum, black raspberries, cooked cherries and hints of rhubarb. Sweet vanillin, black licorice, sweet tarry notes, red roses and withering dark floral bouquet.

The body is medium. Tannins are well resolved. These is pure ripe fruit elegance. Blackberries, dark cherries, baked black plum, black raspberries, cooked cherries, strawberries and hints of rhubarb. Sweet vanillin, black licorice, sweet tarry notes, touch of minty menthol, loamy dry soil, powdery volcanic minerals, red roses and withering dark floral bouquet. Acidity runs again like a waterfall and the finish is somewhat leaner, well balanced and lasts nearly two-minutes.

May 19th, 2018
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.2

The 88 out of 6 liter.

On the nose; sweet mid red fruit with a pruny character. Cooked blackberries, dark cherries, old plum, rhubarb, vanilla, stones, dry minerals and withering red florals.

On the palate, the body is lean and tannins well resolved. Fruits show a pruny quality. Blackberries, dark cherries, cherries, strawberries, rhubarb, cola, fine powdery minerals, used leather, underbrush, limestone, waterfall acidity and a leaner sort of water back fruit finish. Such a treat to drink these wines these old wines out of big formats.

Photos of the Phelps party.

The 88 out of 6 liter.

On the nose; sweet mid red fruit with a pruny character. Cooked blackberries, dark cherries, old plum, rhubarb, vanilla, stones, dry minerals and withering red florals.

On the palate, the body is lean and tannins well resolved. Fruits show a pruny quality. Blackberries, dark cherries, cherries, strawberries, rhubarb, cola, fine powdery minerals, used leather, underbrush, limestone, waterfall acidity and a leaner sort of water back fruit finish. Such a treat to drink these wines these old wines out of big formats.

Photos of the Phelps party.

May 19th, 2018
WineMascot

2015, a little less heavy on the oak like the insignia, thus has good balance and is a value all things considered

2015, a little less heavy on the oak like the insignia, thus has good balance and is a value all things considered

May 8th, 2018