1994 Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard

Cabernet Sauvignon
Blend and Grape Sources
100% Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
Harvest Dates
September 17, 1994
Winemaking Data
Grapes were harvested on September 17, 1994 at an average 24.5 degrees Brix. After fermentation, the wine was aged 24 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels and bottled in December of 1996.
Winemaker Notes
In 1975, the Backus Vineyard was planted on St. George rootstock, a drought-tolerant vine which has also proven resistant to phylloxera. Consequently, this is our second 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 du 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. Only 400 cases were produced. THE NEW LABEL: The Backus Vineyard, located along the Silverado Trail south of Oakville Crossroad, has provided us with extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon since 1977, the year Joe Phelps acquired a long-term lease on the property. In December of 1996, the Backus parcel was purchased outright, and a new label was designed to commemorate the exceptional quality of the vineyard and evoke the unique, brick-red color that distinguishes its soil. We are pleased to introduce the new look with the 1994 Backus Cabernet, a benchmark wine from a vintage that many consider to be among the finest in the last 20 years.