Joseph Phelps Insignia 2017, Napa, USA (750ml)
[Discount Not Available]
BLEND AND GRAPE SOURCES
94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc from estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards in Stags Leap District, south Napa, Oak Knoll District and St. Helena.
The rarest offering of Insignia in twenty years, 2017 Insignia opens in the glass with heady aromas of mocha, cedar, roasted espresso, blueberry and ripe plum. Fresh and focused with building layers of black cherry, blackberry preserve, spice box and vanilla essence. Plush, velvety texture and seamless tannins culminate in a lengthy, lingering finish.
The 2017 growing season saw much needed record-breaking winter rainfall which helped replenish groundwater and the vines. The cool, wet start to the season delayed budbreak and bloom compared to the three previous years. The summer and fall months were warm with regular heat spikes to ripen the grapes. Overall, 2017 was reminiscent of the 1997 and 2015 growing seasons. The wines lend to fresh dark black fruit characteristics with ample, refined tannins.
96 Points - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant scents of Black Forest cake, preserved plums and blueberry pie plus touches of redcurrant jelly, potpourri, clove oil and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has gained weight from its in-barrel offering, boasting rich, decadently perfumed black fruit preserves flavors with a racy backbone and velvety tannins, finishing long and spicy. -LPB, Oct. 2020
97 Points, Cellar Selection - Wine Enthusiast
Gorgeously perfumed, it unfurls wave after wave of cassis, dusty rock and cocoa powder—seasonings that boost secondary characteristics of black and red currant and cherry. With structure and complexity to spare, it should do well over time; enjoy best from 2027–2032. Cellar Selection. -V.B, Best of Year 2020
96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Tasted out of bottle, the 2017 Insignia is beautiful stuff that excels in the vintage. Revealing a dense purple color as well as stunning notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco, and earth, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a silky, seamless texture, building tannins, and a great finish. It has the more linear, elegant style of the vintage, yet it’s balanced, has ample concentration, and is just a gorgeous wine that will evolve for 30 years or more. (Jan. 2021)
94 Points - Wine Spectator
Delivers showy fruit, with layered flavors of warmed boysenberry, blackberry and açaí berry paste, framed by a subtle alder hint and backed by warm earth and cast iron details on the finish. Not shy, and well-built for the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2038.” -J.M. (July, 2020)
96 Points - James Suckling
A beautiful, focused wine with a tight center palate of blackberries, blueberries and dark chocolate. Very subtle. Hints of mint and sage, too. Medium to full body and fine, racy tannins. A reserved and very pretty Insignia. Fresh finish. Hard not to drink now, but better in 2022. -Jan. 2020
96 Points - Decanter
This has a real sense of freshness and grip. A pure expression of Cabernet with a shot of eucalyptus and menthol, extremely concentrated but with elegance and power. The tannins just grip on to your palate and don't let go leading to a lovely chewy finish. This is great stuff, with a discernibly finessed style that shows a fine tannic balance magnified through the lens of Californian heat and laced through with cassis, espresso and chocolate block. Great structure, this will take a few decades of ageing in its stride. -Jane Anson (Aug. 2020)