2000 Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard
- Tech Sheet
Blend and Grape Sources
100% Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate-owned Backus Vineyard.
September 20 to 25, 2000
Grapes were harvested between September 20 and 25 at an average 25.2° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 27 months in new French oak barrels before being bottled in January, 2003.
From a 540-foot elevated mesa which declines steeply to the valley floor, the 45-acre Backus Vineyard sits in the heart of the Oakville District, distinctive even among such august neighbors as Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Tench and Vine Cliff. Picturesque and dramatic, the top of the vineyard is strewn with ancient Andesite boulders and cobbles which line the stream bed and contrast dramatically with the iron rich, brick red soil and meticulously tended vines which slope downward to the Silverado Trail. Phelps produced its first Backus Cabernet in 1977 from the original 6.75 acre block planted on St. George rootstock in 1975. Further vineyard expansion occurred after purchasing the entire 45-acre parcel from the Backus family in 1996, and today a total of 21 acres are planted to vines. No expense was spared in the planting process, and the challenge was formidable. On one particular slope, erosion control measures demanded that all labor be done by hand. No tractors, cats, trucks or ATV's were used. Shovels and picks were the only tools. When stumps and rocks were encountered, vines were planted around them. Workers pounded stakes by hand and pick-axed through rock to lay and bury irrigation line. Today, it is our belief that Backus has earned its place among the Grand Cru vineyards of the world, and that the current release reflects this with its chocolate, berry and mineral-like flavors, soft tannins and silky, fat mouthfeel.