1994 Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard
In 1975, the Backus Vineyard was planted on St. George's rootstock, a drought-tolerant vine which has also proven resistant to phylloxera. Consequently, this is our oldest estate-owned Cabernet vineyard, and over the years, as the vines have become less vigorous, the grape clusters smaller and the hang time longer, the wine has steadily increased in depth, power and flavor.
Still, the quality of this vineyard has always been exceptional because of its location and its steeply-terraced hillside soil. The French call it "Goût De Terroir", or "taste of the soil", and the term refers to the distinctive aroma and flavor components that are specific to a given site. In California, there are only a handful of vineyards that have the tradition necessary for there to be a genuine need for the term, and the Backus Vineyard is among that select group.
The 1994, vintage, however, has taken it a step further and produced what is unequivocally the most profound Backus Cabernet to date. With its depth of flavor, distinctive chocolate-berry component and sweet, powerful tannins, we believe this will prove one of the most noteworthy and longest-lived wines of the vintage.
Winemaking Data Grapes were harvested at an average of 24.5° Brix. After fermentation, the wine was aged 24 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels and bottled in December 1996.
96 Points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard is awesome. It possesses a black/purple color, and a fabulously sweet, rich, pure nose of minerals, black fruits, grilled meats, and toasty new oak. This huge, full-bodies wine is a monstrous, yet marvelously well-balanced, super-extracted Cabernet Sauvignon. (Dec. 1996)
91 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Black-ruby color. Reticent chocolate, mint and licorice aromas. Tighter and higher-pitched than the above, though Williams reports that the Backus is lower in acidity. The harder wine with an iron-like solidity, not currently showing the complex of the Insignia, but at least as concentrated. Very strong but very evolved. (May/June 1996)
Blend and Grape Sources 100% Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate-owned Backus Vineyard.
Appellation Oakville, Napa Valley
Harvest Dates September 17, 1994
Aging/Cooperage 24 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels and bottled in December 1996.