Here is a deep and yet relatively winsome young Cabernet that strikes a different stance than those in the brooding, muscle-bound crowd. Rich and wide open with sweet fruit and oak to spare, it is an overt and hedonistic wine whose pleasures need no searching to find. It has tannin enough for structure and it shows the right kind of grip at the finish, and its great virtues of plentiful fruit and fine balance are the prerequisites for a half-dozen years of further growth
Layers of ripe cassis and blackberry fruit on this wine's nose and palate are underscored by impressions of spice, clove and anise, with a lush, plummy fruit generosity supported by firm, well structured tannins.
Though it takes a Cabernet Sauvignon designation, Phelps' Cabernet is typically blended with small percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and/or Malbec for enhanced complexity. Grapes are harvested and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks in contact with the skins, and aged an average of sixteen months in a combination of roughly 50% new French and American oak barrels and two- to four-year-old French and American oak barrels before being blended, lightly filtered and bottled.
Good deep ruby-red. Claret-like aromas of blackberry, currant bud, bitter chocolate, licorice and graphite, plus a whiff of garrigue Juicy and laid-back, with firm, nicely integrated acids contributing to an impression of youthful austerity. Strong dark berry and graphite character in the mouth. Gains breadth on the back end, with the tannins substantial but nicely integrated. This very lively wine should be held for a couple of years.