Wine Recommendation
  Sign In
Subscribe to our newsletter
Bookmark and Share  
print this review     

Wine Recommendation

Joseph Phelps 2005 Sauvignon Blanc

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Spring Valley Ranch
(St. Helena ~ Napa Valley)

This is another white from Phelps that needs some more time in bottle. The aromas are a little sweet now but those will become integrated with time. That said, the nose belies the palate at this juncture because what hits your mouth immediately is the bright acidity. Then grapefruit enters at mid-palate with another dose of clean brightness. But there aren’t too many sharp edges here because the gestalt of the wine is roundness, from the time it spent in oak (nine months in French barrels, 15 percent of which was new). Hold onto it for a couple of years and the seemingly high price, will reward you in the end, over five or six years.

The 2005 vintage was unusually late due to mild temperatures that averaged between 70-80 degrees. From August 1 to October 31, only 15 days exceeded 90 degrees, and even then it never got hotter than 98. Despite this, color and flavors developed early on, with good sugars, though acids took longer to settle into balance.

The first grapes came in on September 11, exactly one month later than the previous year. Fermenting juice showed great color, balance and flavor, similar to the cool growing seasons of 1991, ‘94, ‘95 and ‘99.

The listed alcohol is 13.9 percent.

Reviewed September 15, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Vineyard: Spring Valley Ranch
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: St. Helena ~ Napa Valley
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc (90%), Semillon (10%)
Price: 750ml $30.00

Review Date: 9/15/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.