Consistency, Grace, Complexity, and Power.
Consistency is a rare commodity, because it requires a cold fidelity to excellence. Maintaining a matchless level of quality for 40 vintages requires a perfectionism very few of us possess. Joe Phelps established his emblematic blend, Insignia, in 1974. He passed away at the age of 87 in April of 2015. We raise a glass to him anew in salute!
As Robert Parker wrote of Joe’s 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 sites, and meticulous cellar triage, with Insignia comprised of only their best wines each year.
Parker noted this towering wine’s “very deep inky-purple color and nose of crushed red and black currants, blackberry pie and plums with hints of dried herbs, sandalwood, spice box and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers a knock-out core of intense, energetic fruit with chewy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with epic length and freshness.” – The Wine Advocate
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.
The 2015 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine is blended of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with stunning black and red plums, cassis and mulberries scents with loads of redcurrant sparks and compelling wafts of lilacs, pencil shavings, black olives and tilled soil plus a hint of bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with red and black currant fireworks plus some exciting mineral nuances coming through, framed by firm, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing very long and beautifully layered.