First, I'd like to say that as of this writing, no one has reviewed Joseph Phelps on CitySearch. So if there are suddenly dozens of positive reviews immediately after this, it's probably winery employees.
Secondly, this review does not reflect the quality of Joseph Phelps wine. It might be quite good. I for one will not be drinking it after my experience at their winery.
My parents were visiting me, and I decided to take them to wine country. I had heard of Joseph Phelps, but had never been there so I tried to schedule a tasting. They said all they had available was a "wine appreciation class" for $30 a piece. So I signed us up.
We arrived 10 minutes early as they requested because "they don't take late comers", (that should have set off a red flag). After filling out some forms they told us we could wait outside so we did. My father and I are Luciano Pavoratti fans and as we looked out over Napa valley, he started singing "Nessum Dorma" his signature song. I joined him part way through. Naturally mom thought it was great.
After ten minutes we returned. The manager came out and said we were "too high spirited" for the class, and that there we liability issues. We hadn't done anything to warrant this! We hadn't spilled anything, or used foul language or even talked to the other patrons. He offered us a tasting, but after that my parents just wanted to leave.
The staff at every other winery we visited that weekend seemed happy and jovial. The manager at Phelps was completely joyless. Even as I joked with him to try and smooth things over, he just got meaner. Needless to say we spent the rest of the day drinking wine in silence worried we would disturb other patrons.
Like I said, the wine may be good. But there's a lot of excellent wine in Napa (I recommend Elizabeth Spencer and Alpha Omega). Why pay for the attitude at Joseph Phelps?
Pros: Pretty scenery
Cons: Snooty and joyless