The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard, from the red soils of the Oakville Corridor and eastern hillsides overlooking Screaming Eagle and Rudd Estate, is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Blackberry, blueberry, crushed rock and white flower aromas soar from the glass of this stunningly rich, full-bodied wine. One of the most concentrated and potentially long-lived wines of the vintage, it is unquestionably a candidate for wine of the vintage. It is richer and more backward than the Insignia, but stunningly multidimensional, built like a skyscraper, and staggeringly profound. Wow! What an amazing wine. Forget it for another 4-5 years and drink it over the following quarter century. For statisticians, the 2003 Insignia finished with 14.4% alcohol and the Backus, 14.3%. (RP) 98+
Medium ruby-red. Cassis, bitter chocolate and a hint of eucalyptus on the nose. Juicy, intensely flavored and focused, with a lovely spine of acidity giving definition to the purple fruit flavors. Showing more cut than fat today, but this wine is hiding its underlying density of material and opulence. The tannins seem a bit rough today, but this was bottled just two months prior to my tasting. (ST) 92+
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