2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot from 100% estate vineyards.
Grapes were picked between September 19 – October 28, 2009 at an average 24.6o Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks after a cold soak of three days. The wine was aged 18 months in a combination of 50% new French and American oak barrels and 50% one to two-year-old barrels. Coopers include Nadalié, Sylvain, Demptos (French and American), Taransaud, Ermitage, François Frères, Dargaud Jaegle, Canton (American) and Barrel Associates (American).
This is the first estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon bottling from Joseph Phelps. The blend contains five of our seven estate vineyards: the Home Ranch in St. Helena, Suscol in South Napa, Yountville in the Oak Knoll District, Banca Dorada in Rutherford and Las Rocas in the Stags Leap District. This is a classic Cabernet Sauvignon with aromatics of blackberry, plum and black cherries intertwined with characteristics of chocolate covered espresso beans and licorice. The wine covers the palate with concentrated, balanced tannins and a long, silky finish.
The 2009 growing season began and seemed to end, with rain. The late spring rains ended in early May to help recharge the soil moisture profile just in time for the first heat spike over 100°F in mid-May. June and July were cooler months, August recorded normal weather patterns and September was warmer than normal based on our 26 year degree-day-average. There were a total of 19 days during the growing season yielding temperatures over 100°F, most of which were in August and September. Evening temperatures during the warm patterns remained cool enough to allow for better vine recovery from each day’s heat.
Veraison began during the first two weeks of August and brix levels at harvest rarely exceeded 25°. However, the color and concentration combined with flavor development, were good indicators that full fruit maturity had been achieved. On October 13th, over four inches of rain fell and cool, humid, drizzly weather persisted for a week. Once we were able to resume vineyard activity, picking concluded on October 28th.