Joseph Phelps - 2017 - Insignia - 1.5 L
Region: Napa Valley
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot - Petit Verdot
Vintage: 2017 - Size: 1.5 L - Type: RedJoseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery based in St. Helena. It was founded in 1973 when Joseph Phelps, a building contractor from Colorado, arrived in Napa Valley to build wineries. He soon decided to make his own wine and purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena. Phelps Vineyards now owns or leases 560 acres of vineyards in Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast. The estate owns choice properties in St. Helena, Stags Leap, Oakville, Rutherford, South Napa Valley and Oak Knoll. Phelps is best known for Insignia, its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varieties first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator's ÒWine of the Year" in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking. Besides Cabernet Sauvignon and small amounts of Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec, Phelps also grows Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Scheurebe. The estate produces 50,000 cases annually from Napa Valley and an additional 15,000 cases from the Sonoma Coast.
A barrel sample made up of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec to be aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak, the 2016 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a deep garnet-purple color and is a little reticent at this still nascent stage (to be bottled in January 2019), opening out to reveal chocolate-covered cherries, wild blueberries and black raspberries with touches of underbrush, cedar chest and bouquet garni plus a hint of grilled meat. Medium to full-bodied, the palate springs forth with exciting energy, offering loads of red and black fruit layers and compelling herbal sparks, featuring a firm, fine-grained backbone and bags of freshness lifting the finish. 13,500 cases are expected to be made
James Suckling: 98
Lovely density and intensity with dark berries, blueberries and inky undertones with hints of spice, chocolate and walnuts. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a flavorful finish. The texture and length are fantastic here. Complex. Hints of smoky wood at the end. This needs three to five years more in bottle age. Exciting wine. Try after 2022.