2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker Notes The 2008 Cabernet reveals aromas of plum and blackberry intertwined with graphite, forest floor, dark chocolate and curry notes. The fruit and spice carry through on the palate adding to the multilayered texture of this wine. Supple, integrated and age-worthy tannins create a long, lush finish.
Winemaking Data Grapes were harvested between September 11 – October 24, 2008 at an average 24.5° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged eighteen months in a combination of 50% new French and American oak barrels and 50% one- to two-year-old oak. Coopers include Nadalié, Sylvain, Demptos, Taransaud, Ermitage, François Frères, Dargaud Jaegle, Demptos (American) and Canton (American).
The 2008 growing season started out with lower than normal rainfall for the second year in a row and the longest cold and frosty spring recorded since 1971. May brought unusually high temperatures during the latter part of the month, in the midst of bloom. Such drastic weather changes led to imbalances in the vine, especially at this important time in the life cycle, prompting flower fertilization to cease prematurely in some Cabernet Sauvignon clones.
Surprisingly this was a blessing in disguise leading to looser and lighter cluster formation. This natural thinning allowed adequate airflow within the clusters during maturation and also nicely balanced out the crop load on each vine. June, July andAugust proved to be months with consistently arm temperatures that led to even and healthy vine development. Our weather record keeping revealed that overall heat accumulation for September and October was higher than our 25-year average by seven to 17 percent, respectively.
90 Points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is an impressive version. Their 1975 Cabernet Sauvignon is still alive at age 35. The 2008?s dense ruby/purple color is followed by an attractive bouquet of crème de cassis and charcoal. Revealing full-bodied richness and lots of depth, it is one of the finest regular Cabernet Sauvignons Phelps has made in many years. The tannins have sweetened over the last year and this impressively endowed effort, while approachable now, should age for 20+ years. (Dec. 2010)
Blend and Grape Sources 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec from estate vineyards (83%) and independent growers (17%).
Appellation Napa Valley
Harvest Dates September 11 - October 24, 2008
Aging/Cooperage 18 months in a combination of 50% new French and American oak barrels and 50% one- to two-year-old oak. Coopers include Nadalié, Sylvain, Demptos, Taransaud, Ermitage, François Frères, Dargaud Jaegle, Demptos (American) and Canton (American).