Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (stained label) 2002 Front Label
Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (stained label) 2002 Front LabelJoseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (stained label) 2002  Front Bottle Shot

Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (stained label) 2002

Cabernet Sauvignon
  • RP96
  • WE95
  • CG95
  • W&S90
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP95
  • RP93
  • V96
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  • WE93
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  • RP94
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  • W&S90
  • WE97
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  • CG95
  • WS94
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  • RP97
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2002 vintage has the distinctive rich color we've come to associate with this vineyard, followed by a nose of licorice, minerals and dark roast coffee. Concentrated mineral and rich black fruit flavors predominate, and a seamless finish contributes to the wine showing exceptionally well, even at this early stage.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is a massive, youthful blockbuster with an opaque purple color as well as firm tannins (despite the general openness and ripeness of the 2002 Napa Cabernets). Almost overly rich, it has a long evolution ahead of it given its firm tannins and off-the-charts concentration and extract. One has to admire this cuvee for its extraordinary structure and multidimensional personality, but at present, even with airing, the primary aromas of new oak, loamy soil, graphite, incense and black fruits are all one can expect. In the mouth, the wine remains brutally tannic, but there is enough stuffing to easily balance out the wine's structure. It is a young, possibly great wine for the ages, and I would not hesitate to put my money where my mouth is. This 2002 should be absolutely amazing in 25-30 years.
Rating: 96+
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Right up there with the best of the '01 Napas. Smooth and polished, with a velvety mouthfeel that conveys cherry and blackberry flavors, without heavy extract. Oak plays a supportive role. The overall impression is of elegance, power and extreme balance.
CG 95
Connoisseurs' Guide
From first sniff to finish, this head-turning young wine is nothing less than a classic expression of all that is best in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Its juicy, concentrated aromas are rich in cassis and plentiful sweet oak while finding highlights of mineral and black soil terroir, and its very deep, keenly fruited flavors follow suit. Despite a bit of tannic hardness that is entirely in keeping with its varietal and age, the wine is wonderfully well-balanced and offers plenty of promise for an increasingly supple future if allowed the six to ten years of cellaring that its depth and beauty have surely earned. Kudos to Phelps for its one-two combination of stunners.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Saturated with flavor, perfumed with the richness of oak and potent with black cherry-scented fruit and mineral tannins, this is a massive young cabernet. If you like powerful Napa Valley reds, this delivers. Order a bottle with a 32-ounce ribeye.
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Joseph Phelps

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

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Joseph Phelps Vineyards, California
Joseph Phelps Vineyards Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Winery Video

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.

Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varietals, Insignia, first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking.

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NEDBACKUS_2002 Item# 119591

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