Editorial Reviews for Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Backus Vineyard
Subtle and precise on the nose with very pure creme de cassis, hot iron and rocks and a touch of toast. In the mouth this is rich and chewy but so well balanced with wonderfully fresh, ripe fruit and a long, spicy, mineral rich finish. Really a baby but with grand potential and it really delivers alot already. Another Fine Backus, one of California's Grand Cru vineyards. 94pts.
Fantastic; one of the best that I've had in many years. Rich, long lasting dryness on the back of the tongue. Blackberry bouquet with a touch of cherry, but no fruity sweetness. Excellent body. Taste develops differently with each glass. Don't miss this one.
Update: Got to try it again ... smoke and toast. Smooth, silky mouth feel. Great wine.
Well done wine, all levels reach the top. An excellent wine with full mouth fee, rich aromas, long aftertaset and great future! If only it was cheaper in europe....
Thick, juicy. Its still young and tight, but you can taste its power. Good minerality and structure. Will clearly age for a decade or so. Best not to open another one for a couple of years I'd say
Corn and basil/cilantro on the nose. Spicy mouth with black pepper and wonderful tannins.
Deep ripe vanilla aromas. Palate is big, with good oak and light acidity -- good soft tannins and just a touch of sweetness. It's great now, but lay this one away for later.
Amazing - still really young but absolutely amazing....
External Reviews for Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Backus Vineyard
This is a great vintage of Insignia, which means it's a great Napa cabernet that will last for decades. The balance is amazing, incorporating beautiful red fruit deepening to black cherry and darker berry, a lot of alcohol and a lot of oak holding it structured and strong. The texture is flawless, with tannins adding richness and earthy notes of black Stags Leap District soil. Those tannins seamlessly support the sweet blend of cabernet with a touch of petite verdot (8 percent) and malbec (3) extending the clean berry flavors long after each sip. Dynamic now, complex in ten years' time.
Smooth, supple and complex, offering wonderful aromas and serving up a range of herb- and mineral-laced currant, black cherry, blackberry, sage and pebble notes. Ends with a clipped edge. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Best from 2011 through 2018. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.
Bright ruby-red. Highly complex nose melds currant, black licorice, lead pencil, mocha, bitter chocolate and fresh herbs. Deep and sweet in the middle, with juicy acidity giving shape to the concentrated, silky flavors of cassis and dark chocolate. This, too, is downright Bordeaux-like. Finishes with broad, lush tannins and excellent length. This has fleshed out nicely since I tasted it from barrel a year ago but should still be kept for a minimum of five or six years.
Floral scents of berry fruit emerge from the supple texture of this blend, then the wine is burnished by oak, roasted black, with scents of vanilla melting into the softness of the fruit. The darkness lasts, and the wine should become more expressive with age.
Very French, as in Bordeaux; as in winemaking informed by years of experience; as in a wine that will develop and mature over time. For Phelps, that's very Napa. The '95 Insignia is a tannic and four-square wine in the best sense. It just needs time to show what it is all about. Its complex flavor profile of anise, plum, and light mint rides over a compact varietal base that doesn't call attention to itself. Cellar a few bottles for two to four years, then serve it with roast beef or lamb. But be sure to cellar a few more bottles to the ten-year mark. Patience is required and rewarded with Insignia.
A big, black wine, Insignia is a generous '98 capturing the Napa sun in its sweet and juicy heft. The flavors of blueberries and game show off its ripeness, the muskiness lasting as long as the fruit. It's round on the palate, the flavors almost grandiose in their youthful exuberance. Once calmed by time in the bottle, the complexities already apparent will take on increasing prominence. An impressive '98, this continues to improve with air - as it will with age.
Since 2004, 100% of the Bordeaux varietals used in the Insignia proprietary blend have been from estate vineyards. The beautiful, dense ruby/purple-tinged 2005 Insignia (a 12,500 case blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec) possesses sweet aromas of black cherries, cassis, chocolate, camphor, and a subtle hint of roasted herbs. Medium to full-bodied and elegant, with a European style imposed on the rich, velvety, California fruit, this cuvée will benefit from several years of bottle age, and should easily keep for three decades.