1994 Cabernet Sauvignon
Even at this early stage, the 1994 Cabernet displays the characteristics of a great vintage: exquisite balance, high-toned aromas, and spicy flavors of black fruit and cassis.
Winemaking Data Grapes were harvested at an average of 23.4° Brix, fermented to 13.7% alcohol, and then aged 22 months in French oak and American oak barrels before being blended and bottled in July 1996.
Vintage Notes The outstanding 1994 vintage was characterized by a long, cool growing season, with an October 4th rainstorm giving some growers cause for concern. However, the warm, dry weather which followed promoted good ripening in the vineyards and yielded full-flavored fruit with extraordinary levels of pigment and mature tannins.
90 Points - Wine & Spirits
Since the 1973 vintage, Phelps has been nothing but innovative, both in its varietal mix and its selection of vineyard sites. Cabernet has always been a major interest of Mr. Phelps and longtime Winemaster, Craig Williams, and they've hit a long-distance home run with this '94. Its deep color, concentrated cassis aromas and opulent, layered flavors suggest Pauillac, as does the light application of French oak. (Apr. 1997)
90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Opaque dark purple red appearance. medium-bodied. Highly extracted. Moderately tannic. Vanilla, brown spice, plums. Rich, spicy, ripe fruit aromas lead a solid textured palate with a powdery mouthfeel and impressive ripe flavors. Well integrated and quite plush. (Dec. 1997)
Blend and Grape Sources
95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot, with over half the blend coming from estate-owned vineyards and independent growers.
Appellation Napa Valley
Harvest Dates Late September through late October
Aging/Cooperage 22 months in French oak and American oak barrels before being blended and bottled in July 1996.