2001 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker Notes The 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon is filled with black cherry and blackberry aromas underscored with a hint of graphite. Fruit extract and undertones of sweet oak linger on the palate, ending in a long, balanced finish.
Winemaking Data Grapes were harvested at an average of 24.9° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged in a combination of new French and American oak barrels (30%) and two- to four-year-old French and American oak (70%), before being blended and bottled in June 2002.
The 2001 vintage produced extremely balanced, concentrated and flavorful fruit with generous yields, despite a variable growing season. usually associated with less successful years.
A warm spring resulted in early bud break, followed by a few days of freezing temperatures which caused detrimental frost in early April (a natural thinning!). Prior to flowering, record high temperatures in early May caused rapid vine growth, and maturation was further accelerated by heat spikes in early June. Finally, mild temperatures in July and August provided ideal growing and ripening conditions and allowed vines to recover their growth spurt in the spring.
Harvest began at the beginning of September with Sauvignon Blanc. Some of the early-maturing red varieties were harvested on September 10th with fully developed flavors and tannins. The mild temperatures which followed allowed further hang time and flavor development for the later-maturing Cabernet Sauvignon. Finally, the advent of hot, dry weather which maintained its grip through most of October afforded even the most stubborn vineyards a chance to ripen and produce some of their best fruit since 1997.
89 Points - Wine Enthusiast
This is the sort of Cab you sip immediately and like. It's not only rich in currant and oak, with elaborate tannings, but possesses that extra dimension of pedigree due to the balance and harmony. Not for the cellar, but great now for your best foods. (Oct. 2004)
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
This is a superlative vintage in the North Coast. A cool (but not excessively so) growing season was followed by a fabulous weather in September and October, allowing producers to harvest at their leisure... All things considered, this is a great vintage for all varietals. (Aug. 2002)
92 Points - Conoisseur's Guide to California Wine
Keenly focused on varietal fruit of dried currants and black cherries with a complexing layer of rich loam, vanilla, caramel and hints of sweet spices, this medium-volume effort is supple in palate feel at entry before becoming noticeably tannic at the finish. Admittedly, it is more mannerly than muscular, but this is very good, convincingly age-worthy Cabernet that will hold up in the cellar for five to ten years. (Apr. 2004)
89 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright medium ruby. Expressive aromas of red- and blackcurrant, leather, smoke, bitter chocolate and mocha. Fairly large-scaled and rich; more powerful than the 2001 Merlot but not showing as much early personality. This wine, too, possesses a distinctly restrained sweetness. Finished with very smooth broad tannins that reach the cheeks. (May/June 2003)
5 out of 5 Stars - Quarterly Review of Wines, Top 24 Cabernet Sauvignons and Meritage
Deep, deep color; ripe, meaty, cassis and nutty oak nose; big, rich, rip, well-concentrated, blackberry, mocha, and spicy oak flavors; plush, velvety texture; good ripe tannins; excellent balance. (Summer 2004)
89 Points - Wine Spectator
Strikes a fine balance between chewy currant, anise, blackberry and cedar scents. It firms up at midpalate and finishes with a long, rich aftertaste. Needs short-term cellaring. Best from 2005 through 2012. (Dec. 2003)
90 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Phelps is doing nicely, and I'm winding down on more than a case and a half of this beauty, which was terrific value when I purchased it on release. Still a big, ripe, chewy effort, with lots of currants, pencil shavings, dried earth/herbs and a touch of chocolate, I'd call it fully mature, yet it still has a stacked mid-palate and loads of fruit, so it's going to evolve gracefully for another decade or more easily. give it an hour in the decanter if drinking over the coming couple of years. (July 2017)
Blend and Grape Sources 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot from estate-owned vineyards and independent growers
Appellation Napa Valley
Harvest Dates September 17 - October 15, 2001
Aging/Cooperage 18 months in a combination of new French and American oak barrels (30%) and two- to four-year-old French and American oak (70%), before being blended and bottle in June 2002.