Joseph Phelps: Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (’02)

There was this half-empty bottle of Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard that I took home from a housewarming party.

The bottle had been open for a few hours, though had been forgotten in the sudden mood change to beers that the night sometimes brings.  The Wine For Sophisticated Homies slipped this bottle under a jacket and spirited it away for further inspection.  What follows is our review of the 2002 Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. 

This wine is reminiscent of the first book you ever analyzed deeply without any prompting from a teacher.  Its complexities range from tannins so heavily layered you might think you were pulling back the plush-chair equivalent of an onion, to a cocoa powder dark chocolate thing that juxtaposes an almost constant hint of charred earth. 

A brooding guilt will envelop you as you sip this plumberry tonic, like a prizefighter gripping and ungripping victoriously bloodied knuckles.  In its youth, it might’ve smacked you around before leaving without so much as a single appearance of the velveteen black fruits it now espouses…like so many a stolen communion wine chug.  Such is the dangerous backbone of this beauty.  The graphite, like pencil shavings blown from college-ruled paper wherein you are required to write “I will not steal wine from Sister Mary’s lockbox,” over and over and over again until you have proffered a palatable penitence, smudges the glass.   

Only fourteen years of age, and already it shows a complex personality, but there is another decade of ambition within these legs, particularly if the wine shaves on a daily basis and always remembers to put on lotion.  I’m sorry, what was it we were talking about again? 

24 out of 27 Top Hats.