Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

9.21587 ratings
9.1168 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
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

9.1

The 03 out of 6L.

On the nose, dark cassis with a hint of funk. Ripe; blackberries, black plum, dark cherries black raspberries and plum. Notes of fruit syrup. Vanillin, warm toast, soft minerals, dark spice, cinnamon, clove, leather and fresh dark florals.

The body is medium full. The tannins are half resolved. The fruits are a little sweet and very ripe. Blackberries, black plum, dark cherries black raspberries and plum. Vanilla, warm toast, volcanic minerals with an edge, limestone, dark spice, cinnamon, clove, fresh tobacco leaf, herbaceous notes, mint, leather and fresh dark florals. Nice acidity and leaner style finish that is well balanced and lasts a full minute.

The 03 out of 6L.

On the nose, dark cassis with a hint of funk. Ripe; blackberries, black plum, dark cherries black raspberries and plum. Notes of fruit syrup. Vanillin, warm toast, soft minerals, dark spice, cinnamon, clove, leather and fresh dark florals.

The body is medium full. The tannins are half resolved. The fruits are a little sweet and very ripe. Blackberries, black plum, dark cherries black raspberries and plum. Vanilla, warm toast, volcanic minerals with an edge, limestone, dark spice, cinnamon, clove, fresh tobacco leaf, herbaceous notes, mint, leather and fresh dark florals. Nice acidity and leaner style finish that is well balanced and lasts a full minute.

May 19th, 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
Tobin Trevarthen

A night caper! And a treat. Nothing like a sterling aged wine. Soft tannins. Dreamy nose.

A night caper! And a treat. Nothing like a sterling aged wine. Soft tannins. Dreamy nose.

Apr 28th, 2018
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.2

Time to check in on the 2002 Napa Cabernet. As good as it tastes tonight, I’ll wait another 7-10 years to open another one. For me, their Insignia & the Backus are their big expensive wines, but not necessarily my favorite. In fact, the Backus; which is their most expensive is my least favorite. The Insignia in good years is hard to beat with 20+ years of age. However, it’s their regular Napa that is my favorite with around 25 years of age. This 02 is no different. The 02 Insignia was WS’s wine of the year. So, how bad can the 02 Napa be? It’s quite good tonight, but I’m thinking how awesome it’ll be in 2025. Their 25 year old regular Napa Cabernets are more often than not my favorite. Pound for pound & dollar for dollar hard to beat if you show patience. That’s why I say, start collecting as young as possible! On the nose the 02 shows; dark currants, burnt ambers, shades of menthol, graphite, pine tar, blackberries, black plum, dark cherries, black raspberries, notes of blue fruits, raspberry cola, saddlewood, well layered soft baking spices, mocha, milk & dark chocolate, light bay leaf & sage, volcanic minerals, dry crushed rock powder, dry & fresh dark florals with violets. The body is still big & full. Strong, rounded tannins that still have teeth. The structure, tension, length are very nice but still need development. The balance is quite nice. The palate reveals; ripe, ruby, dark currants, burnt ambers, shades of menthol, graphite, pine tar, blackberries, black plum, dark cherries, black raspberries, notes of blue fruits, raspberry cola with strawberries & cherries painting the background, chewy leather, saddlewood, well layered soft baking spices, mocha, milk & dark chocolate, light bay leaf & sage, steeped black tea, volcanic minerals, dry crushed rock powder, loamy wet clay, dry & fresh dark florals, lavender with violets. The acidity is perfectly round and runs like a river. The well polished, elegant finish lasts minutes and doesn’t dip or fade. Beautiful, complex well made wine that still needs time to show what an all-star it will be in 2023-25. Photos of; a couple of JP’s terrace views, tasting area with their old large vats and their remodel sitting area with actual wine aging in the main relaxing lobby area.

What a different wine after Coravining it a week ago. Much; softer, rounder, richer with floral, blue fruit mix explosion!

Time to check in on the 2002 Napa Cabernet. As good as it tastes tonight, I’ll wait another 7-10 years to open another one. For me, their Insignia & the Backus are their big expensive wines, but not necessarily my favorite. In fact, the Backus; which is their most expensive is my least favorite. The Insignia in good years is hard to beat with 20+ years of age. However, it’s their regular Napa that is my favorite with around 25 years of age. This 02 is no different. The 02 Insignia was WS’s wine of the year. So, how bad can the 02 Napa be? It’s quite good tonight, but I’m thinking how awesome it’ll be in 2025. Their 25 year old regular Napa Cabernets are more often than not my favorite. Pound for pound & dollar for dollar hard to beat if you show patience. That’s why I say, start collecting as young as possible! On the nose the 02 shows; dark currants, burnt ambers, shades of menthol, graphite, pine tar, blackberries, black plum, dark cherries, black raspberries, notes of blue fruits, raspberry cola, saddlewood, well layered soft baking spices, mocha, milk & dark chocolate, light bay leaf & sage, volcanic minerals, dry crushed rock powder, dry & fresh dark florals with violets. The body is still big & full. Strong, rounded tannins that still have teeth. The structure, tension, length are very nice but still need development. The balance is quite nice. The palate reveals; ripe, ruby, dark currants, burnt ambers, shades of menthol, graphite, pine tar, blackberries, black plum, dark cherries, black raspberries, notes of blue fruits, raspberry cola with strawberries & cherries painting the background, chewy leather, saddlewood, well layered soft baking spices, mocha, milk & dark chocolate, light bay leaf & sage, steeped black tea, volcanic minerals, dry crushed rock powder, loamy wet clay, dry & fresh dark florals, lavender with violets. The acidity is perfectly round and runs like a river. The well polished, elegant finish lasts minutes and doesn’t dip or fade. Beautiful, complex well made wine that still needs time to show what an all-star it will be in 2023-25. Photos of; a couple of JP’s terrace views, tasting area with their old large vats and their remodel sitting area with actual wine aging in the main relaxing lobby area.

What a different wine after Coravining it a week ago. Much; softer, rounder, richer with floral, blue fruit mix explosion!

Mar 24th, 2018
Rob Brobst III

Yes 95 points...... properly decanted.

Yes 95 points...... properly decanted.

Feb 21st, 2018
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.5

Third course. Cabbages, Root Vegetables, Natural juices. Oooh la la! Still fresh and dancing on the palate. What a complex tango on the palate. Just meat stock in this dish to pair with such a beautifully resolved soft complex wine that is still holding its fruit. @PlateandBottle

Third course. Cabbages, Root Vegetables, Natural juices. Oooh la la! Still fresh and dancing on the palate. What a complex tango on the palate. Just meat stock in this dish to pair with such a beautifully resolved soft complex wine that is still holding its fruit. @PlateandBottle

Jan 28th, 2018