Grape(s): 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc
Localization: Napa Valley, California, USA
Tasting Notes: The Insignia opens with beautifully perfumed floral, dark fruit, anise, and cigar box aromatics. A wine of depth, elegance, and finesse, the palate is fresh and focused with a creamy texture and layers of blackberry, mocha, and black cherry. The seamless tannin structure and balance culminate in an uplifting, lengthy finish.
99 points James Suckling: Blackberry and black chocolate with mint, conifer, and clove. Sweet tobacco, violets and flowers, too. Some graphite. Cool and complex. Full-bodied with ultra-fine, dusty tannins and a wonderful, extremely long finish. Savory and refined. A classic-styled 2018. This needs time but is so approachable and gorgeous. One of the best Insignias ever. Alive and changing all the time. 40% Stags Leap AVA. 87% cabernet sauvignon, 8% petit verdot, 3% malbec and 2% cabernet franc. Leave this for five or six years, but so wonderful now.
The Domain: 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 property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps now grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley 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.