Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard 2018
JD97+: In contrast to the more open and seamless Insignia, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is a beast of a wine based on 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, and 4% Malbec that saw the same two years in new barrels. More blackcurrants, black cherries, mulberries, graphite, crushed stone, lead pencil, and tobacco notes define the nose, and it's full-bodied, with an incredible depth of fruit and richness on the mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. With air, it picks up this intriguing, burning ember, iron, almost Hermitage-like character, yet it shuts down with extended air and becomes more tannic and unyielding. It's a brilliant wine, but the cellar is going to be your friend. It should hit full maturity in about a decade and will evolve for 30-40 years.
JS97: Aromas of mint, dark berries and black olives follow through to a medium to full body with lightly chewy and layered tannins that are long and focused. Lots of black-olive and conifer undertones, yet it remains subtle. Very long. 91% cabernet sauvignon, 5% petit verdot and 4% malbec. The last two are co-fermented.