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TN: 1994 Phelps (Napa) Cabernet Sauvignon


Redwinger
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The regular Phelps bottling was an automatic buy for me back in the early and mid-1990’s. That is until the price jumped from ~$23 for the 1997 vintage to closer to $50 for the shitty 1998 edition. It does give me a certain peaceful feeling of satisfaction as I glide past multiple vintages of unsold, dust covered inventory. Anyway, back to this particular bottle of 1994 Phelps CS:

It was stunning!! Just the very slightest hint of a fade at the rim, with black fruit with softer red fruit underneath, tannins fully resolved/integrated and enough acidity to carry the entire package. This is not at all like the ubiquitous gobby, alcoholic, oak "enhanced", fruit bombs that seem to dominate the Napa market today and ultimately forced me to search for vinous pleasure elsewhere. In fact, I found it difficult to write adequate descriptors for the wine since all the pieces seemed to be in perfect harmony.

I’m pretty sure I caught this bottle at its’ peak and while it certainly will hold for another year or two, I can’t envision it getting any better than it is today.

The bottle rests on the kitchen counter this delightful, sunny, spring day in the heartland proudly displaying its’ original $19.48 price sticker.

"I'm trying to think but nothing happens"
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