In a great place and took honors tonight over other 1997's such as Caymus SS, Spottswoode, Lokoya HM, and by a hair even Shafer HSS, which was also stunning once again. Big dark brooding black fruit dominant aromas. Rich dense sleek palate profile, showing both nice contraction and good verve to match. Black spices and long finish. Very well balanced and fruit still showing good life and not stewed like the Spottswood, or showing much signs of maturity as the Lokoya and Camus were indicating on the edges. The heat of the Shafer HSS only noticable on the finish, let the Backus slide accross the finish line. A very very good wine and plenty of life left.
With D & D. Nose - beautiful cornucopia of red fruit with orange peel, coconut, slightly reminiscent of a Maya Mouth - lively fruit punchy, nice lively fruit that smack around the palate, with enough residual sugar to call it california
Complex nose with a lot of secondary characteristics, notably roasted meat, black fruit, cedar and graphite. Approachable palate, some muted black fruit, chocolate and subtle smokey and earth notes. Pretty balanced and the tannins have resolved nicely, drink up.
This tasting was offered by someone who is fastastically knowlegable in wine; as something he realy is impressed with. After the second mouthful it is best described as a 'velvet revolver'. oh so wonderfully smooth, complex, with mouthful of flavors that would not quit. It literally tries to overwhelm your mouth with wonderfulness. Dark ruby in color, with complex waves upon waves of new leather, dark chocolate, spice, mineral, dark berry, and cassis. Long in finish, andleading to a lingering of chewy tanins. I would love to try this again in ten years, but I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. Last note: this is my highest score I ever recorded on CT - cheers
For a wine of fifteen years, this is incredibly dense and powerful in both the color and aromas - lots of cedar, smoke, white pepper, mint, grilled meat, pencil lead, and lots more. Every swirl of the glass released more and more nuances. On the palate, the attack is still dominated by acid and tannins, but the supple structure is seductive. A mouthful of intense cassis, blackberry, dark chocolate, smoke and wood, cigars, a cupboard full of spices, and so much more. Wouldn't say it's still a baby, but youthful, just entering adulthood. Still has years of life to go. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. On of the all time greats I've ever tasted, and I will lust for more.
Still aging relatively gracefully. Very much in teh traditional Phelps high end style. Good fruit and spice. Round tannins. Not as exciting in term of secondary notes on the nose as I might expect given the age.
Brought to an offline along with a 99 Herb Lamb. Although the HL blew this away, it still is unbelievably young and will most liely benefit greatly from many more years of aging. You can tell there is something terrific hiding beneath the ripe, sweet, heavy beast that is currently standing guard. Bright red and black fruits, some spice and sweet oak. Fingers crossed this becomes a classic.
CellarTracker Wisconsin June 2011; 6/24/2011-6/25/2011 (Madison, WI- various venues): Tasted non blind at a tasting that included 94-99 Insignia and 94-99 Quilceda Creek. Beautiful cassis and mint nose with more of the same on the palate along with a hint of cedar. Big tannins. Very, very long finish. A bit more Old World in style than the Insignias it was tasted along side. If you are lucky enough to have any of these, hands off for a few to several more years.
Tasted non blind at an offline. Double decanted and left cork out for four hours before serving.
Garnet to dark garnet color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of tobacco, currants, berries and a hint of garam marsala. Solid berry flavors, cherries and plums. Medium acidity, firm tannins, full bodied. Drink or hold.
CT Wisconsin Offline (Madison, WI): Didn't like this as much as the '97 Insignia. Seemed more aged on nose, cherries and a little meatiness. On the palate I got cherries and meaty/earthy note. This was dryer than Insignia on the finish.
Popped and poured. Drank with Robert Bart, Bob and Charlene Jone at Cafe Urbano in Dallas. Outstanding, maybe deserves another point. Ready now. Deep dark clear cherry color with no bricking. Tannin is totally resolved. Cherry and leather on the palate. Excellent balance and structure. Four of us nursed this baby for about an hour and it never flinched. Wine should hold for a few more years, but see NO reason to hold, it will not get any better. Enjoy now.
from magnum. taken to a holiday party. poured via vinturi (not my decision, but i don't think it hurt) into a magnum decanter. the wine was very popular, and i don't think it lasted too long. i hooked myself up with a generous sample in anticipation of it's quick demise, and nursed it in the glass for over an hour. bold aromas immediately of blackberry. retained purple color. cedar, leather, black currant. only some drying tannin on the back end kept this from being spectacular. the wine had a great texture and mouthfeel. this example is mature and at peak, for my palate. i'm afraid that the dry tannins will continue to over power the terrific secondary fruit characteristics if held too much longer. i'd say drink up, especially from 750, yet it wouldn't be unreasonable to cellar pristine bottles to age 20, if that's your thing.
Wow! This ultra-sophisticated and polished cab is outstanding. Very dark red, looking much younger than its 13 years. Huge nose that leaps from the glass with cassis, black cherries and a touch of menthol. Classic iron fist in a velvet glove moputhfeel. The wine is big but so well balanced it comes across as smooth and elegant. There are cedar and earth notes as well. Finish lasts for nearly a minute. Complex and very suave this wine is smooth and posesses power but in a graceful and refined way. As good as Napa gets, it avoids the over-extracted style that some wines are going for. Both my wife and I agreed that this was better than the 97 Insignia. Do not hesitate to drink now but be confident your remaining bottles can count their future in decades.
Served with 7-hour leg of lamb. Really a nice wine. Loads of cassis, dust, cocoa powder, some secondary black currant and a hint of anise. Rich yet smooth and very refined. Well integrated and a hint of eualyptus even. Fun. Went better with Julia's potatoes than the lamb itself. 93-94pts.
WOTN for dinner party at home. Preferred over 97 Insignia, by all. Complex 100% Cab Sauv, seemingly more bordeaux like than the Insignia blend. Great bouquet of cedar,tobacco, black fruits. Drinking beautifully now and will only improve from here.
14.3% alcohol. this wine was totally integrated. it's VERY nice, but lacks structural complexity and a compelling finish, which is surprising based on the pedigree and vintage. the thin midpalate killed it for me. i have a magnum back, and won't hesitate to open it based on this performance.
At Nemo w Paul & Arlene Rogoff. Double decanted in am. Had to leave in car for 1-1/2 hrs, so refrigerated to 42, rose to 52 in car in poly bag, and brought to serving temperature at Nemo(Using new vin temp, which is invaluable). Delicious chocolate flavored cab with sweet refined tannins, excellent now and should continue to improve. Compares favorably to 98 Ornellaia which I double decanted and sipped this am.
CLONYC Small Production Gems (Zoe): Not the worst wine of the night, but my biggest disappointment. One of my favorite vineyards and vintages, this was one of the 2 wines that I really wanted to try and, while it wasn't terrible, it was not as advertised. Ripe plums, black cherry and cedar on the nose. Pretty nice in the mouth with mocha and blackcurrant, but a bit too woody. All the component were there, but it just didn't do anything for me. A real enigma.
The Wine Summit; 6/2/2006-6/3/2006 (The Post Hotel in Lake Louise): Served from magnum. Extremely dark ruby colour – good depth, and beginning to shed its purple accents; mix of cassis and oak, with spice nuances in the aromas; elegant styling for such a full bodied wine; balance and power here – with exceptional black currant and black raspberry flavours; finely textured for such a big wine; finish is long and satisfying. Great choice for the bison dish.
An elegant, complex Cab with nice length and concentration. I never tried this when it was young, but it seems to have integrated what must have been a lot of baby fat and oak. The tannins are pretty well resolved; I would have guessed that this was older than a 1997. The palate shows black cherries, spice box, and a little mocha. Medium body, good balance, medium-length finish.