1997 Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Magnum
Joseph Phelps is one of Napa Valley's most prominent wine producers. As is the case with many of Napa's most famous producers, the key grape variety here is Cabernet Sauvignon.
The iconic redwood winery is located just outside of St Helena. The company owns vineyards across Napa, notably in Stags Leap, Oak Knoll, Rutherford and Oakville.
The estate was established in 1973 with a first release of three wines. Joseph Phelps was running a construction company in Colorado and had come to Napa for a project and had fallen in love with the wine industry there. After importing grapes back to Denver for vinification for a time, he bought a cattle ranch in the valley and began planting vineyards.
Joseph Phelps' flagship wine is Insignia, which made its debut in 1974. This is a blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller amounts of other Bordeaux varieties. The precise components vary with each vintage. Current options are Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The company hopes to replant some Merlot for future vintages.