1990 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

1990 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

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Expert Ratings and Reviews

85 Points Wine Spectator

Napa Valley 1990

A very good to excellent year with ideal weather throughout the growing season. Dry and sunny, with the moderating influence of cool mornings and nights to keep acidity fresh and to allow the grapes to reach excellent physiological ripeness. A balanced, beautiful vintage with excellent, age-worthy wines.

After the wet fall of 1989, the weather pattern changed and 1990 was a dry year, the fourth in a row with less rainfall than normal. Good weather in the spring allowed an early bud break. A period of rain at bloom reduced the size of the crop, as did a hot spell in late May, and a few scattered thunderstorms caused some crop damage. The growing season saw good conditions and a moderate climate right through the harvest, allowing a long, even ripening period. It is a fine vintage with wines that are balanced, ripe, and rich, with ample tannins. Late rains came after most had completed the harvest, and overall the picking took place in ideal circumstances, allowing excellent ripeness and balance of tannins, flavors, and sugars. Overall it was an excellent year that has stood the test of time and lived up to its potential.

Key Dates

Warm spring weather

Early bud break

Cool temperatures and rain affected bloom and berry-set late in the month. Heat arrived at the tail end of the month

About Joseph Phelps

Producer Facts

Winery Name

Joseph Phelps

Web Site


About Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon Facts

Flavor Profile

Full, tannic wines with notes of blackcurrant and cassis

Food Pairings

Grilled red meats, stews, hard or rich cheeses

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