1994 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (3L)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1994 boasts an inky/purple color along with a glorious nose of black raspberries, blackberries and black currants that is still somewhat primary despite nearly 18 years in bottle. The Phelps team kept this cuvee in 100% new French oak for 28 months. Its magnificent structure, intensity and purity of fruit, ripeness, balance combined with authoritative power and the magnetic appeal of this full-bodied, Bordeaux-styled wine are extraordinary. This amazing effort is just coming into its best years, and should drink well for at least another 15-20 years. (RP)
Bright red-ruby. Sexy aromas of raspberry, truffle, dark chocolate, woodsmoke, tobacco, potpourri and mint. Pure silk on the palate, delivering captivating floral lift and inner-mouth tension to the red berry, earth, leather and spice flavors. A savory and insinuating wine with wonderful grain and texture. Flavors are fully mature but the acidity and tannins can hold the wine together for awhile. Very long and sweet on the aftertaste, with harmonious tannins. (ST)
A tremendous wine that combines dark, rich, deeply concentrated flavors with a sense of grace and finesse. This is still a bold, potent youngster, with a wealth of currant, mocha, anise and sage flavors. The tannins are big, too, but they're ripe and they let the rich flavors push through.
95 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted at “The Wine Treasury” vertical. Yes, yes, yes. An adorable bouquet soars from the glass: expressive black cherries, plum, mint, burning autumn fires and a touch of pain grille. Wonderful definition, with a hint of menthol developing with time. The palate is full-bodied and very focused, opulent ripe black fruits inflected with dark chocolate and leather, later a touch of orange zest. It has a beguiling sense of beauty, but merits cellaring for 10-15 years." (11/2009)