2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard
Winemaker Notes The 2003 Backus Cabernet is saturated in color with a dark purple, ruby red hue. The aromas of mocha, minerality, black fruits and graphite are characteristic of this unique, grand cru vineyard in the Oakville appellation. The incredible nose is framed by robust tannins, bright fruit flavors and subtle French oak notes, with a depth and concentration that follows through on the palate.
Winemaking Data Grapes were harvested at an average 25.5° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 23 months in new Taransaud and Vicard French oak barrels before being bottled in January, 2006. Production was limited to 1000 cases.
A cool, wet spring seemed to forecast a vintage that would have difficulty ripening, but July and August were unusually warm without the fog-shrouded mornings typical of Napa Valley summers. Clear skies provided a complete daily dose of solar radiation to the vines and fruit, allowing for good photosynthesis and grape development, and hot weather in mid-September provided additional heat accumulation.
After the heat spell broke, it was replaced by near-ideal weather conditions of overcast mornings, warm, sunny afternoons and temperatures in the low to mid eighties.
Actual crop harvested was significantly lower than estimates with less than two tons per acre from many vineyards as a result of earlier crop removal to mitigate mildew. Berry size was small with excellent acid balance; and overall quality -- less variable than ‘02 -- appears excellent.
98+ Points - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard, from the red soils of the Oakville Corridor and eastern hillsides overlooking Screaming Eagle and Rudd Estate, is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Blackberry, blueberry, crushed rock and white flower aromas soar from the glass of this stunningly rich, full-bodied wine. One of the most concentrated and potentially long-lived wines of the vintage, it is unquestionably a candidate for wine of the vintage. It is richer and more backward than the Insignia, but stunningly multidimensional, built like a skyscraper, and staggeringly profound. Wow! What an amazing wine. Forget it for another 4-5 years and drink it over the following quarter century. -RP, (2013)
Tasting Notes Download Tasting Notes (pdf)
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Blend and Grape Sources 100% estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon from our Backus Vineyard in Oakville, Napa Valley.
Appellation Oakville, Napa Valley
Harvest Dates Sept. 25 - Oct. 1, 2003
Aging/Cooperage 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels from coopers Taransaud, Marcel Cadet and Darnajo.