2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard
Winemaker Notes Deeply pigmented, with bold dark fruit, fragrant violet and mineral aromatics, the 2018 vintage is a stunning Cabernet Sauvignon offering of classic Oakville character. The palate is layered with blueberry, black currant, pepper and mocha with a silky, textured, lingering finish.
Winemaking Data Each block at Backus Vineyard remains separate during harvest 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 2018 growing season in Napa Valley was marked by cool, mild weather. The cooler than normal spring delayed budbreak, bloom and veraison compared to the five year average. The mild weather patterns in August and September allowed for excellent overall phenological ripening and development of a complex aroma and flavor profile in the finished wines. Outstanding flavor development and color were key indicators of this exceptional vintage, so much, that all eleven blocks of Backus Vineyard are represented in this blend.
97 Points - James Suckling
Aromas of mint, dark berries and black olives follow through to a medium to full body with lightly chewy and layered tannins that are long and focused. Lots of black-olive and conifer undertones, yet it remains subtle. Very long. (April 2021)
(95-97)+ Points - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Deep purple-black colored, it is a little youthfully mute to begin, soon springing from the glass to offer notions of wild blueberries, cherry pie, crushed black currants and boysenberries with wafts of fallen leaves, black olives, wild sage and pencil shavings. Medium-bodied, the palate has electric intensity, offering loads of earth and dried herbs sparks intermingled with the black fruit layers. It has a firm, grainy frame, bold freshness and a long, mineral tinged finish. -LPB (2019)
(95-97)+ Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Just an incredibly pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard reveals a deep purple hue as well as gorgeous crème de cassis fruit interwoven with notes of camphor, tobacco leaf, graphite, and charcoal. These carry to a full-bodied, powerful 2018 with a dense, concentrated mid-palate, loads of ripe tannins, and the focused, tight, serious yet also incredibly pure style of the vintage front and center. It's not going to be for those looking for instant gratification, but it will be a magical Cabernet Sauvignon that will live for 30-40 years or more. (Jan. 2021)
(94-97) Points - Antonio Galloni - Vinous
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard shows off the best qualities of the year in its silky, perfumed personality. Blackberry, blueberry, lavender, spice and mint all build in the glass. The 2018 stands out for its freshness and verve. Inky dark fruit, graphite, menthol and licorice linger in what is a very classic expression of this Eastern Oakville site. (Jan. 2021)
96 Points - Wine Spectator
This sports the typical Oakville profile of dense plum, black currant and blackberry fruit flavors, but the fruit is more restrained than most, with licorice root, warm earth, menthol and roasted alder notes playing an equal part. Everything melds steadily through the long, smoldering finish. Built for the cellar. Best from 2023 through 2040. -JM (July 2021)
Tasting Notes Download Tasting Notes (pdf)
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Blend and Grape Sources 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec from our Backus Vineyard in Oakville, Napa Valley.
Appellation Oakville, Napa Valley
Aging/Cooperage 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels from coopers Taransaud, Marcel Cadet and Darnajou before bottling