92 Points Vinous / Antonio Galloni:The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon emerges from the glass with mocha, tobacco, grilled herbs, smoke, licorice, incense and orang peel. An exotic, layered wine, the 2011 impresses for its length and pure persistence. The style is that of a cold year, which means the tannins are a bit firm and in need of further bottle age. This is a beautiful wine for the year, but also in its own right. Readers need to give the 2011 at least another year or two in bottle. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot.
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.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Joseph Phelps Vineyards Winery
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps now grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.