Each block is kept separate during fermentation to capture the unique complexity of the Backus Vineyard. This is deeply packed with steeped red and black currant, boysenberries and black cherry preserves. Hints of menthol, allspice and tobacco rise from a bed of warm earth. Decant now or give it a few years in the cellar to develop even further.
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.
Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs a little coaxing before it charges out of the glass with bold expressions of crème de cassis, boysenberries and black cherry preserves plus suggestions of cast-iron pan, violets, allspice and sandalwood with a touch of fragrant earth. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is absolutely packed with muscular black fruit preserves flavors, beautifully supported by finely grained tannins and lovely freshness, finishing with loads of mineral and spice fireworks.