Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Backus Vineyard
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Oakville

2015 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 19 | Lot No. 111
Vintage

2013

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Backus Vineyard

Cabernet Sauvignon
Oakville

5 cases produced

Highlights

  • Unique blend of select lots from the Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard in eastern Oakville
  • 94% Cabernet Sauvignon from the steeply sloped South Block and vines surrounding the smokehouse
  • 6% Malbec from the Plateau Block, some 500 feet above the valley floor
  • Aged 24 months in a new Taransaud 5 French oak barrel

The Joseph Phelps Premiere Napa Valley 2015 lot was created from our Backus Vineyard, located on the eastern hillsides of the Oakville appellation, home to one of the most coveted grape growing regions in Napa Valley. Joseph Phelps has been the sole producer of Cabernet Sauvignon from this location, with its distinctive red pigmented volcanic soils, since the 1977 vintage. The Cabernet Sauvignon blocks selected for this wine came from both the steeply sloped, tightly spaced South block as well as those vines planted around the property’s iconic smokehouse, known as the North block. The addition of 6% Malbec, grown along a rocky plateau some 500 feet above the valley floor, completes this exclusive blend. The wine will continue aging in a new Taransaud 5 French oak barrel for twenty-four months before bottling. The 2013 vintage highlights classic Oakville black fruit and graphite aromatics with powerful, yet balanced, tannins. Layer upon layer of complexity can be found throughout the lingering finish. Cherish this wine for decades to come.


Wine Facts

  • Wine is unfiltered
  • Single vineyard wine
  • Sustainably produced
  • Wine is 100% estate grown and bottled

Ashley Hepworth

Winemaker, Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Winemaker, Ashley Hepworth

Ashley Hepworth came to Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 1999 with a palate honed by working in restaurant kitchens, including the celebrated Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. The experience also exposed Ashley to wine – she became friendly with Charlie Trotter’s sommeliers – and ultimately led her to apply for a harvest intern position at Joseph Phelps Vineyards. She got the job, and after working the harvest of 1999 she stayed on as a cellar worker, a “from the ground up experience” she says she wouldn’t trade for anything. From there Ashley went on to positions at the winery as a lab technician and enologist, and in 2004 she was named associate winemaker, overseeing all day-to-day winemaking operations.

In 2005 Ashley had the opportunity to expand her winemaking horizons when she took a “mini” sabbatical to work a harvest in Bordeaux at Chateau Angelus in St. Emilion. She earned a Winemaking Certificate from the Viticulture and Enology Department at the University of California at Davis in 2006, and in 2008 she was promoted to winemaker at Joseph Phelps Vineyards.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with some great winemakers at Joseph Phelps, and I’ve learned a lot from each one of them,” says Ashley, who credits the winery’s founder, Joe Phelps, with establishing the overall philosophical approach which guides the winery today. “He always pushed the winemaking team to explore, to do better. There was no limit. He always said ‘don’t stop at good, make it great.’ Even though he’s gone, we have a team that understands that really well.”

Ashley’s approach to winemaking at Joseph Phelps is deceptively simple: let the vineyards and the vintages speak for themselves. “Our estate vineyards give me such quality and purity of fruit,” she says. “There’s a consistency to our wines, but it’s not because of a recipe, it’s because the vineyards are so solid.” Still, Ashley is very much in favor of vintage expression. “We don’t want every vintage to taste the same.”

Country born: United States

Education: B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry at Fort Lewis College, a Winemaking Certificate from the Viticulture and Enology Department at the University of California at Davis and worked the 2005 harvest at Chateau Angelus, St. Emilion.

Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years

Winemaking Philosophy:
Minimalism - allow what the vineyard offers to reflect in the wine.

The Wine House

2311 Cotner Avenue
Los Angeles  CA  90064
310-479-3731

website


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