2019 Joseph Phelps Insignia
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  • Nick's Import

2019 Joseph Phelps Insignia

Napa Valley, California, UNITED STATES
$570. 00
$6840.00 Dozen
Cellar: Drink now - 15 Years (2022-2037)
ABV: 14.5%
Closure: Cork

Joseph Phelps was a successful construction executive and entrepreneur whose early interest in wine led him to establish vineyards on a 670-acre former cattle ranch in Napa Valley. Over the next 40 years Joe became one of the most respected figures in the California wine industry, building Joseph Phelps Vineyards into a critically-acclaimed winery internationally known for its iconic wines and unwavering commitment to quality. In 1974 Joe Phelps had the idea to make a separate cuvee each year, one that would represent the finest wine he could make from each vintage, and he called it Insignia. While his original intention was to allow Insignia to be any varietal he chose, it become increasingly clear that red Bordeaux varieties – particularly Cabernet Sauvignon - were ideally suited to Napa Valley and would consistently yield the best wines of the vintage. From 1977 on, Cabernet Sauvignon was never less than 50% of the Insignia blend and gradually became the dominant varietal. Joe’s vision evolved: Insignia would always be a proprietary red Bordeaux-style blend. Over forty years later, Insignia is recognized as one of the world’s most iconic wines.
A blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. Magnificent colour featuring an impenetrable pitch black heart and a very deep black dark red hue. Wafting from the glass are seductive scents of ripe blackcurrants, liquorice and black cherries which are complexed by notions of earthy dark chocolate, toasty vanillin cedar and spicy tobacco. Gloriously rich and powerful, every corner of the palate is saturated in decadent blackcurrant, liquorice, dark chocolate and black cherry fruits. Firm yet beautifully integrated tannins provide a muscular feel to what is otherwise an opulent texture. Notions of scorched earth, spicy vanillin cedar and mocha linger on the back half. Concludes exceptionally long with terrific density and richness. Superb.
Drink over the next 10-15 years.
Alc. 14.5%

Other Reviews....
A very aromatic Insignia with pencil-shaving and graphite highlights to the dark fruit and blackberries. Full-bodied, yet tensioned and vertical, with very fine tannins that run deep and layered in the wine. Needs time to come together, but fantastic tension and structure.
98 points
James Suckling

The 2019 Insignia is composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. The vineyard sources this year include: 32% Yountville (Oak Knoll District), 23% Banca Dorada (Rutherford), 14% Suscol (South Napa Valley), 14% Home Ranch (St. Helena), 12% Las Rocas (Stags Leap District), 3% Barboza (Stags Leap District) and 2% El Venadito (Oak Knoll District). The wine is aging for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Deep garnet-purple in color, it needs a little swirling to unlock a gorgeous perfume of black cherry compote, stewed plums and blackcurrant pastilles with hints of bay leaves, red roses, underbrush and pencil lead plus a hint of menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers impactful black fruit preserves layers with finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and layered. (Tasted as a barrel sample.)
96-98 points
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Wine Advocate

Much more expressive and complex compared to the backward, masculine Backus Vineyard (which is common when comparing these two cuvées), the 2019 Insignia offers a gorgeous perfume of crème de cassis, chocolate, lavender, dried flowers, tobacco, and leafy herbs. Possessing full-bodied richness, a layered, seamless texture, gorgeous tannins, and just a classy, balanced character, this beauty is going to shine with just 3-4 years of bottle age yet still cruise in cold cellars for 30 years. It actually reminds me slightly of the 1997.
96-98 points
Jeb Dunnuck

Tasted from barrel, the 2019 Insignia is a mere infant. Swaths of tannin wrap around a core of dark fruit. The 2019 is a brooding, potent Insignia that is going to need time to come around.
94-97 points
Antonio Galloni - Vinous