Crafted from a mix of Calera clone and the [decidedly tropical and dark] clone 777, this Pinot is spicy and so floral in tone, with notes of red flowers, red cherries, cranberry, and baking spices. Such a treat, such a true rarity! For best results, pair this with grilled duck breast dusted with five spice powder. Nirvana.
Joseph Phelps has long been one of Napa Valley’s stalwarts. For more than 30 years, they have been a pacesetter for critically acclaimed wines. As Robert Parker wrote of their flagship red, 'The Insignia cuvée has been one of Napa’s great Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines since its inception in 1974' and Wine Spectator observed that Phelps is 'one of Napa Valley's benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon producers.' Their focus is on world-class standards, top growers and meticulous cellar triage with Insignia seeing only the best components each year. Phelps has a web of vineyards that would make any winemaker excited to go to work. The winery has been working exclusively with estate-owned fruit sources since 2004, and their specific sites are exceptional. They know every nuance of the land and can conjure magic and bottle thunder. And as evidenced by the press for the 2008 Insignia, Phelps’ continued march towards exclusively estate-owned vineyards is paying handsome rewards.
Splashes of high acidity and contoured minerality mark this estate-grown wine with a sinewy, fresh palate that's inviting and exotic. The defining characteristics are a pleasant mix of roses, soy and forest floor. Dark cherry and pomegranate lie beneath the more savory aspects, ultimately leaving one with an appreciation for how velvety a wine can be.
The 2013 Pinot Noir Pastorale Vineyard is bright, precise and lifted. Rose petal, cranberry and cinnamon notes abound in a super-expressive, crystalline Pinot endowed with fabulous detail and nuance. In my view, the 2013 is a bit more refined and less bombastic than the 2012. The 35% whole clusters add an attractive sense of lift through the mid-palate and finish.