Though it takes a Cabernet Sauvignon designation, Phelps' Cabernet is typically blended with small percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and/or Malbec for enhanced complexity. Grapes are harvested and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks in contact with the skins, and aged an average of sixteen months in a combination of roughly 50% new French and American oak barrels and two- to four-year-old French and American oak barrels before being blended, lightly filtered and bottled.
The grapes are harvested and pressed, with a minimum of 50 percent of the must fermented in new or older French oak barrels followed by three to five months lees contact. The remaining juice is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Between 20 and 30 percent of the wine is aged for approximately five months in oak barrels before being blended, lightly filtered and bottled.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(2007 Vintage) This bottling comes as a real disappointment considering the winery's ways with the grape in the past, and its marginal fruit is more candied than it is keen in varietal character. It intimates a brief bit of sweetness but flattens out in the mouth and ends on a note of chalky dryness.