2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard
Winemaker Notes The 2016 vintage expresses rich red and dark fruit, fragrant violets, rose petals, graphite and black tea aromatics. A wine of great distinction, it melds power and structure with freshness and elegance in seamless layers of ultra-concentrated blueberry and black cherry with hints of baking spices and cassis to a lengthy finish.
Winemaking Data Each block at Backus Vineyard remains separate during picking and fermentation. The complexity of this vineyard can be highlighted through the fruit and depth found in the North and Plateau blocks paired with the structure and concentration in the steep hillside fruit grown in the South block.
Vintage Notes The 2016 Napa Valley growing season began with a mild winter resulting in early bud break for some blocks at the beginning of March. A normal period of bloom and veraison took place in early May and mid-July, respectively. The 2016 growing season was cooler compared to the previous three vintages, allowing for aromas and flavors to develop slowly in the red varieties yielding classic Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon from our Backus Vineyard.
98 Points - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, it charges out of the gate with bold blackberry pie, black currant pastilles and warm blueberries notes with touches of menthol, mocha, cardamom, iron ore and cinnamon stick plus a waft of black olives. The full-bodied palate delivers mouth-coating black and blue fruits with a vast array of earth and spicy sparks, framed by firm, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. -LPB (Oct. 2019)
96 Points - James Suckling
Shows very ripe fruit and excitement on the nose with dark berries, blueberries and pine-needle undertones. Full-bodied, firm and chewy with a solid and rich finish. Seriously structured red here. (May 2019)
94 Points - Wine Spectator
Bold cassis and plum fruit flavors lead off here, with violet, anise, sagebrush and tobacco accents emerging quickly behind them. A warm humus note emerges through the densely layered finish. Delivers lots of bass, with a textbook Oakville feel. Best from 2022 through 2035. —J.M. (Dec. 2019)
96+ Points - Antonio Galloni's Vinous
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is sensual, creamy and super-expressive. Black cherry, plum, mocha, dried flowers and lavender are some of the many notes that flesh out. I am surprised by how accessible the 2016 is. In the early going, the Backus Cabernet can be quite imposing. The 2016, on the other hand, is pure sensuality. -AG, Jan 2020
98+ Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is an incredible wine... Gorgeous blackcurrants, graphite, lead pencil, chocolate, and gravelly, earthy minerality all give way to a powerful, concentrated Cabernet that has flawless balance, building tannins, and a huge finish. Count yourself lucky if you have bottles of this in the cellar, as it’s going to offer up tons of pleasure over the coming three decades or more. (Jan. 2020)
Tasting Notes Download Tasting Notes (pdf)
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Blend and Grape Sources 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot from our Backus Vineyard in Oakville, Napa Valley.
Appellation Oakville, Napa Valley
Harvest Dates September 16-27, 2016
Aging/Cooperage 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels from coopers Taransaud, Marcel Cadet and Darnajou before bottling