Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard 2012
VM97: The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard has really blossomed over the last year. A glorious, towering Cabernet Sauvignon offers super depth an intensity, with the voluptuous personality of the vintage on full display. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, mocha and espresso all flesh out in the glass. The Backus is not as open nor expressive as the Insignia is today, but it is tremendous in its beauty and overall pedigree. This is a terrific example of contemporary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the last vintage made from the vineyards that were planted in 1975.
WA96+: As you drive down the Silverado Trail it is hard to miss the steep, striking Backus Vineyard across the street from Screaming Eagle. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard (93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot) is a 2,800-case cuvée that tips the scales at 14.9% natural alcohol. Its dense purple color is followed by notes of acacia flowers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, smoky charcoal and graphite, and a lavish, full-bodied, powerful, concentrated style with a boatload of tannin. This cuvée is never the most precocious of the Phelps Cabernet Sauvignons, but patience is rewarded. Give this 2012 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25-30+ years.