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.
Not yet bottled, the 2017 Insignia (which includes no Petit Verdot due to the frosts) offers both red and black fruits as well as lots of spice box, gravelly earth, and integrated oak. It opens up beautifully with time in the glass, is medium to full-bodied, has beautiful mid-palate depth and concentration, and a great finish. It’s a classic, undeniable success in this challenging vintage.
A barrel sample, the 2017 Insignia is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, to be aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, it bursts from the glass with bold scents of baked black plums, crème de cassis and fruit cake with hints of espresso, tapenade, hoisin and potpourri. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-filling black berry preserves and loads of earthy sparks, framed by chewy tannins, finishing with loads of freshness. Very promising! 7,500 cases were made (about half the normal production).
This is a soft and velvety red with blackberry and blueberry character. Some boysenberry, too. Hints of spice. Medium to full body, round and juicy tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink or hold. Better after 2021.
The 2017 Insignia is dark, sumptuous and enveloping in feel, with a real sense of breadth and textural resonance. Cedar, tobacco, licorice, leather and incense give the 2017 striking aromatic nuance, but more than anything else, the 2017 is all about palate richness - and it has plenty of that.