Joseph Phelps Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley Insignia 2001
With complex aromas of black cherry, plum, chocolate, currant and toasty oak, the wine displays layers of flavor and richness that disguise its power and longevity. Beautifully crafted and balanced, Insignia reflects a new level of quality from both the vineyards and the growing regions.
[burgers] last taste in Oct was great but more closed down then 2 previous encounters will hold the remaining for >1 year, but if only 1 would hold til 2009
[LBK: steak, portos, tomatoes] Initially felt tight and extracted. The nose was great with ripe, lush fruit, smoke and some mint; smelled like Napa; on the palate, menthol, smoke, and tannins. Over 3 hours, settled down with cassis, smoke, mint, minerals, and big tannins. By the 5 hour mark, the tannins and menthol qualities felt more in balance. Overall though it lacks balance, it may be better than the ’97. Look forward to sampling over the next 5-7 years.
This bottle was one of a collection my father left me when he died. I opened it this summer for my 50th birthday and it was as special as I knew it would be. My first response, out loud, to my husband, was "Oh, it smells like really expensive men's shoes". Not an elegant description but the leather notes are wonderful. Thoroughly enjoyed every drop of this wine.
This was a special occasion wine for us - my husband's 40th birthday. It was worth it. For as long as I've been drinking and love wine, I still struggle with identifying the popular descriptive words you often read in wine reviews. I can't taste lemongrass and truffles in wine! But with this one, I clearly remember thinking, "Ah! leather and tobacco. I get it!"
External Reviews for Joseph Phelps Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley Insignia
Joseph Phelpsrsquo; flagship wine is their fabulous Insignia, a wine with a tremendous track record back to the debut vintage of 1974. A great Insignia in the making is the 1999. An impressive black/purple color is followed by aromas and flavors of melted licorice and creme de cassis, immense body, a voluptuous texture, and an opulent, multilayered palate. This is a fabulously concentrated, low acid yet super-endowed wine. It is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 1% each of Petit-Verdot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc. After its release in 2002, it should age effortlessly for 2ndash;3 decades.
A big, black wine, Insignia is a generous rsquo;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. Itrsquo;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 rsquo;98, this continues to improve with air mdash; as it will with age.
The core of this offering tends to come from Rutherford grown fruit. the saturated dense purple-colored 1999 offers a tight but promising nose of incense, spice box, black fruits, and vanilla. Elegant, stylish, and medium to full-bodied, it is made in a more French-like finesse style than such blockbusters as 1997, 1996, 1995 and 1994. Give it 3ndash;4 years of cellaring and consume it over the following 15ndash;18.
Almost since its inception, Phelps Insignia ranked among the elite of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Although the fruit source has varied over the years, estate vineyards Banca Dorada in Rutherford and Las Rocas in Stags Leap have provided the majority of the grapes for this Bordeaux-inspired rd bland since the early rsquo;90s. The current offering, from the monumental 1997 vintage, equals the great Insignias of 1987 and 1994 in quality.
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, thatrsquo;s very Napa. The rsquo;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 doesnrsquo;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.
The 1996 Insignia (a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Merlot) is a top-flight effort. With a saturated ruby/purple color, and a monolithic, structured personality, it possesses aromas and flavors of asian spices, coffee, fruitcake, cadar, and creme de cassis. The winersquo;s structure, tannin and weightier feel suggest a brawnier, more muscular wine. a terrific, highly-extracted effort, the 1996 should be at its finest between 2000ndash;2020.
The prodigious 1997 Insignia (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 3% Petit-Verdot) lives up to its pre-bottling promise. Tasted on three separate occasions, every bottle has hit the bullrsquo;s eye. The color is a saturated thick-looking blue/purple. The nose offers up explosive aromas of jammy black fruits, licorice, Asian spices, vanillin, and cedar. Full-bodied as well as exceptionally pure and impressively endowed, this blockbuster yet surprisingly elegant wine cuts a brilliant swath across the palate. A seamless effort with beautifully integrated acidity, sweet tannin, and alcohol, it is still an infant, but can be drunk with considerable pleasure. Anticipated maturity: nowndash;2025.