Murphy Vineyards2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Napa Valley landscape is dotted with an ever increasing array of tiny producers intent on making their mark amidst the morass of ever-encroaching corporate wineries. Peter Murphy is just the sort of small-time vintner who fits into the former category.
Unbelievably off the radar since 1995 when Murphy released his first wine, he caught my attention with this Cabernet and a Merlot. The former – from three different vineyard sources: two in the Coombsville area of eastern Napa and one in Placer County in the Sierra Foothills AVA – has everything you’d want. It’s dark purple, smooth and silky with lovely black fruit and is well-balanced. Simply, it’s a wonderfully made wine.
The wine was aged for 18 months and bottled in the spring of 2002 and is just getting its release now. The Cabernet (90 percent of the blend) comes from Victor Chiarella’s vineyard on Olive Hill in Coombsville, the Merlot (5 percent) is from the nearby Kearney Vineyard, and the Petite Verdot (5) comes from Loomis in Placer County. There were but a scant 78 cases produced.
Reviewed November 1, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
Other reviewed wines from Murphy Vineyards
2005 Cabernet Franc
(Sierra Foothills)Roger King 4/4/2012
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.