Palate richness, textural resonance, aromatic nuance, mouth-filling, and undeniable success are just a few of the critic responses to the 2017 vintage of Phelps Insignia. We are always stunned by the drink-ability upon release and sheer power and finesse coming out of the glass. This bottling is coming straight from the winery to your dinner table. Grab a 6-pk to enjoy throughout the next decade.
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 2017 Insignia is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc coming from: 46% Las Rocas vineayrd (Stags Leap District), 22% Barboza vineyard (Stags Leap District), 13% Suscol vineyard (South Napa Valley), 10% Yountville vineyard (Oak Knoll District) and 9% Home Ranch (St. Helena). It was aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant scents of Black Forest cake, preserved plums and blueberry pie plus touches of redcurrant jelly, potpourri, clove oil and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has gained weight from it's in-barrel offering, boasting rich, decadently perfumed black fruit preserves flavors with a racy backbone and velvety tannins, finishing long and spicy..JD96
Tasted out of bottle, the 2017 Insignia is beautiful stuff that excels in the vintage. Revealing a dense purple color as well as stunning notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco, and earth, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a silky, seamless texture, building tannins, and a great finish. It has the more linear, elegant style of the vintage, yet it’s balanced, has ample concentration, and is just a gorgeous wine that will evolve for 30 years or more.JS96
A beautiful, focused wine with a tight center palate of blackberries, blueberries and dark chocolate. Very subtle. Hints of mint and sage, too. Medium to full body and fine, racy tannins. A reserved and very pretty Insignia. Fresh finish. Hard not to drink now, but better in 2022..VN93
The 2017 Insignia is quite powerful and dense. Inky dark fruit, leather, spice, menthol, lavender and licorice all race out of the glass. After bottling, the 2017 is quite a bit more shy than it was from barrel. The 2017 was made entirely from pre-fire lots and naturally lacks the opulence the later picks would have added. If opened young, the 2017 will benefit greatly from aeration. In 2017, most of the fruit came from estate vineyards in Stags Leap.DC96
This has a real sense of freshness and grip. A pure expression of Cabernet with a shot of eucalyptus and menthol, extremely concentrated but with elegance and power. The tannins just grip on to your palate and don't let go leading to a lovely chewy finish. This is great stuff, with a discernibly finessed style that shows a fine tannic balance magnified through the lens of Californian heat and laced through with cassis, espresso and chocolate block. Great structure, this will take a few decades of ageing in its stride. 100% new oak, from five vineyards around Napa Valley, mainly in Stags Leap and Oak Knoll.WS94
Delivers showy fruit, with layered flavors of warmed boysenberry, blackberry and açaí berry paste, framed by a subtle alder hint and backed by warm earth and cast iron details on the finish. Not shy, and well-built for the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2038.WE97
This estate-grown blend combines 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, allowing the main variety to speak loudest. Gorgeously perfumed, it unfurls wave after wave of cassis, dusty rock and cocoa powder—seasonings that boost secondary characteristics of black and red currant and cherry. With structure and complexity to spare, it should do well over time; enjoy best from 2027–2032.