In a nutshell: An impressive Napa Valley Cabernet from the highly regarded Joseph Phelps Vineyards.
The lowdown: For decades Joseph Phelps Vineyards has been making some of the best wines in the Napa Valley with several well placed vineyards dotted the length and breadth of the region. The fruit for this, their estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, comes from six different vineyards and contains small amounts of old school Bordeaux varieties Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc in the blend. The 2016 growing season was cooler than previous and therefore the ripening period longer, producing a wine of freshness and elegance. Concentrated aromas of blackcurrant, bramble and plum with graphite, cigar box and sweet vanilla spice that all follow through to the rounded medium-full palate. There's a real freshness and energy to the wine, lovely depth and complexity, and just really well balanced.
94/100 - James Suckling, 93/100 - Wine Advocate
When to drink: Approachable now but will keep over the rest of the decade.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned and operated wine estate with vineyards and wineries in Napa Valley and on the western Sonoma Coast. The winery was founded in 1973 by Joseph Phelps, a successful construction executive and entrepreneur whose early interest in wine led him to establish vineyards on a 670-acre former cattle ranch in Napa Valley. Over the next 42 years Joe became one of the most respected figures in the California wine industry, building Joseph Phelps Vineyards into a critically-acclaimed winery internationally known for its iconic wines and unwavering commitment to quality.
Joe's son, Bill Phelps, joined the family business in 1998 after a successful career in law, and as Executive Chairman now oversees Joseph Phelps Vineyards with a continued dedication to excellence. The winery's Board of Directors includes Joe's daughters, Leslie, Laurie and Lynn. In 2016, third generation family members Elizabeth Neuman, Director of Business Development & Marketing, and Will Phelps, the winery's Director of Hospitality & Consumer Sales were appointed to the winery's executive management team. Today, the Phelps family is committed to maintaining and nurturing Joseph Phelps Vineyards as a family-owned and run winery and to extending the extraordinary legacy of its founder, Joe Phelps.