Just so spectacular. The best of the Insignia in my view.
Very dry, tannic finish. A big wine, packed with concentrated red fruits. Still too tannic, the finish is harsh. Give it two years.
A very balanced wine with long and smooth finish. However, not as powerful as many other California cult red.
External Reviews for Joseph Phelps Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley Insignia
The 1994 Insignia (a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc ) is a killer wine. It, too, will evolve for 20ndash;25 years, but who can ignore its lavish richness, velvety-textured, well-balanced personality, with gobs of sweet toast, black-cherry, and cassis fruit, spice, mineral, and enormous concentration. Now in the bottle, this wine has turned out to be primarily a Cabernet Sauvignon as the percentage of Merlot was reduced in the final blend. It is potentially the best Insignia since the 1976.
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.
The 1995 Insignia (a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot) is equally profound, performing even better this year than it did last. Less evolved than the 1994, the 1995 is extremely full-bodied, huge, and massive, with layers of sweet fruit. Any evidence of the winersquo;s aging in 100% new oak has been buried beneath layers of extract, ripe black currant fruit, and spice. It possesses a siky, Asian spice-scented personality.
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.
Wonderful fruit complexity and concentration, with smoky tar, black currant, cherry, anise, earth and cedar. Finishes with a wall of tannins, but theyrsquo;re friendly.
The 2001 Insignia (an 18,000 case blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, and 3% Merlot) is an inky/purple-colored effort representing a return to the superb quality of such vintages as 1997. Aged in 100% new French oak, this blockbuster reveals gorgeous aromas of melted licorice, creme de cassis, liquid minerals, and hints of chocolate and spice box. The finish is long, full-bodied, opulent, and voluptuous. Considerable tannin is largely concealed by the lavish richness, extract, and glycerin. Anticipated maturity: 2005ndash;2020+.
The 2000 Insignia is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. It reveals a smoky, rich cassis characteristic, medium to full body, and an open-knit, lush, generous style without the austere tannin and backwardness of the 1999. This expansive, fleshy, and seductive offering should drink well for 15ndash;16 years.