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A Cabernet to Know

Posted on: March 1st, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

From time to time it is always good to take a look at vintners who consistently do an excellent job with their product and make a concerted effort to keep their wines in choice spots of your rack to grab for that special occasion.  Of course, it is a matter of personal opinion as to which producers provide a consistent top quality product at a reasonable price, and therefore you can take that into consideration regarding this recommendation.

To start, with growing conditions that stay relatively consistent year after year, the valleys North of the San Francisco bay area have such an unusual microclimate, that is controlled by an Alaskan sea current with Northwest winds, that they provide some of the most consistent growing conditions in the world.  This means good things for the full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in Napa valley.

In the heart of Napa, today’s successful producers realized years ago that the stable climate with warm sunny days and moist foggy nights worked magic on grapes.  With a long growing season and super-stable ripening conditions, the resulting wines are full and robust.

One of the most consistent efforts, year-after-year, are the red wines produced by Joseph Phelps vineyards.  From the initial whiff of the bouquet to the long, highly complex finish, even Joseph Phelps’ most reasonably priced Cabernet is excellent.  For those wanting their very best, the Insignia red blend and Backus Vineyard Cabernet provide a full range of tastes to match beef steaks, roasts, and stews.

This stuff can be racked for years and just keeps getting better.  It is not uncommon for people to let these sit for 15 years before drinking.  Joseph Phelps’ creations are also excellent choices to use in tasting comparisons with other wines.  Their potential really shows when pitted against the competition.

It is highly recommended to chill a Joseph Phelps red wine before complimenting your next big spread.  Chill it slightly to 55-60 degrees.  You can get it at Bevmo, Total Wine, AZ Wines, and most quality bottle shops.

Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.


About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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