Joseph Phelps Insignia 2009

External Review by Premier Wine & Spirits:

This wine continues a long-standing tradition, showing a mastery of the art of blending. It’s made using grapes that are sourced from at least six vineyards scattered from Yountville to St. Helena. Right out of the bottle, it’s a soft, smoothly tannic wine that’s rich in blackberry jam, black currant, blueberry, raspberry, dark chocolate and spice flavors. The wine, which contains small amounts of Petit Verdot and Malbec, is so powerful, it easily carries the 100% new French oak. Just gorgeous now, and it should develop bottle complexity for at least the next 10 years.

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Joseph Phelps Vineyards:
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned Napa Valley winery committed to crafting world class, estate grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch in Spring Valley near St. Helena, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District and South Napa Valley. Phelps is best k... Read more
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned Napa Valley winery committed to crafting world class, estate grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch in Spring Valley near St. Helena, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District and South Napa Valley. Phelps is best known for its flagship blend of red Bordeaux varietals, Insignia, first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year” in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking. Annual production at Phelps includes Insignia, Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Eisrébe, Syrah and Viognier. Read less

External Reviews for Joseph Phelps Insignia

External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
04/18/2013

This wine continues a long-standing tradition, showing a mastery of the art of blending. It’s made using grapes that are sourced from at least six vineyards scattered from Yountville to St. Helena. Right out of the bottle, it’s a soft, smoothly tannic wine that’s rich in blackberry jam, black currant, blueberry, raspberry, dark chocolate and spice flavors. The wine, which contains small amounts of Petit Verdot and Malbec, is so powerful, it easily carries the 100% new French oak. Just gorgeous now, and it should develop bottle complexity for at least the next 10 years.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
04/18/2013

Combines deep, ripe dark berry fruit with crushed rock, cedar and lead pencil notes, and the tannins have a green bitter edge. A step back in richness and complexity for Insignia, this is built for cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Best from 2014 through 2024.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
04/18/2013

Good deep ruby. Rich but youthfully stunted aromas of plum, currant, chocolate, licorice and mint. Then plush, fine-grained and sweet on the palate, with excellent fat and a loamy complexity to the flavors of blackcurrant, dark chocolate and graphite. This has evolved nicely since I tasted it a year ago from barrel. In a distinctly generous style but structured for a long life in bottle. Finishes with gripping, tongue-saturating tannins and terrific chocolatey length.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
04/18/2013

A gorgeous, totally voluptuous wine, the 2009 Insignia bursts from the glass with exuberant blue and black fruit, grilled herbs, cloves and cassis. In 2009, the Insignia is silky and polished, yet there is considerable underlying tannin that needs time to soften. Layers of fruit flow effortlessly to the huge, structured finish. I imagine the 2009 Insignia will enjoy a broad drinking window. It is striking today, but also clearly has the stuffing to age for many, many years. The 2009 is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2017–2029.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
04/18/2013

The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Insignia is a big, generous wine that covers the palate with waves of dark red fruit. Today it is beautifully expressive and opulent yet also well balanced. An explosive finish rounds things out in style. This looks to be a relatively approachable Insignia. Floral, spicy notes round out the finish. In 2009 the blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014–2029.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
07/06/2014

Extravagantly rich, this seems to be perfumed by its tannins. Its heady, gravelly power and spicy black fruit is cut short in the finish, yielding to the wine’s alcohol. With several years in bottle, this will be ready to decant for a thick cut rib eye.



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