1994 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (3L)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1994 Insignia (a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc) is spectacular. I have had the wine a half-dozen or more times, and it is unquestionably opulent, sexy, flamboyant, explosively rich, concentrated, and a thrill to drink. Already gorgeous, it promises to evolve gracefully for two decades or more. The color is a healthy saturated dark purple. The spicy nose offers aromas of black currants, allspice, pain grille, and soy, with scents of a burning wood fire thrown in for additional complexity. This full-bodied, opulent, dazzling wine is exhilarating to drink. Joseph Phelps is doing a phenomenal job with their Insignia.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Ruby-red. Sexy aromas of black raspberry, cedar, coffee, tobacco and bitter chocolate. Lush and smooth on entry, then dense and juicy in the middle, with intense, layered, sharply delineated dark berry and dark chocolate flavors saturating the entire palate. A powerful wine that is already quite expressive. Builds impressively on the back half, showing superb extract and a sweet finishing flavor of dark chocolate. This is consistently one of California 's very few great cabernet-based wines that is not from a single vineyard. Williams ranks this '02 with the winery's top recent vintages: 2001, 1999, 1997, 1994 and 1991.
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.