With the release of the 1974 Insignia, Joseph Phelps Vineyards became the first California winery to produce a blend of traditional Bordeaux varietals under a proprietary name. Thirty vintages later, Insignia has remained one of Napa Valley's most highly acclaimed and sought-after wines. Originally sourced from the best available grower fruit, since the 1990 vintage Insignia has been produced primarily from estate-owned vineyards in the Stag's Leap District and Rutherford Bench – two of... View More
One of the first, if not the first, of the proprietarily named Napa Bordeaux blends, Phelps Insignia has been one of California’s greatest Cabs for decades. This is their 30th anniversary bottling, and it’s worthy of the tradition. Ultrarich and smooth, with a mouthfeel that’s pure velvet, it’s fairly thick in tannins now, suggesting cellaring. But it’s huge in blackberry, dark unsweetened chocolate and spicy plum fruit, and will easily hold for a very long time. Best now, if carefully decanted, and through 2020.
The Wine Advocate
The 2003 has performed well in recent tasting, showing a dense purple color along with notes of creosote, lavender, flowers, creme de cassis, espresso roast, white chocolate and a hint of oak. Still in a young adolescent stage, it should drink nicely for another 15-20 years.
Full ruby-red. Slightly jammy aromas of blackberry, mocha and dark chocolate. Not especially dense or fleshy but has an attractive juicy quality and good life. Dominated by a flavor of black raspberry. Finishes with big, firm, rather fine tannins.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard... View More