2009 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine continues a long-standing tradition, showing a mastery of the art of blending. It's made using grapes that are sourced from at least six vineyards scattered from Yountville to St. Helena. Right out of the bottle, it's a soft, smoothly tannic wine that's rich in blackberry jam, black currant, blueberry, raspberry, dark chocolate and spice flavors. The wine, which contains small amounts of Petit Verdot and Malbec, is so powerful, it easily carries the 100% new French oak. Just gorgeous now, and it should develop bottle complexity for at least the next 10 years.
A gorgeous, totally voluptuous wine, the 2009 Insignia bursts from the glass with exuberant blue and black fruit, grilled herbs, cloves and cassis. In 2009, the Insignia is silky and polished, yet there is considerable underlying tannin that needs time to soften. Layers of fruit flow effortlessly to the huge, structured finish. I imagine the 2009 Insignia will enjoy a broad drinking window. It is striking today, but also clearly has the stuffing to age for many, many years. The 2009 is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good deep ruby. Rich but youthfully stunted aromas of plum, currant, chocolate, licorice and mint. Then plush, fine-grained and sweet on the palate, with excellent fat and a loamy complexity to the flavors of blackcurrant, dark chocolate and graphite. This has evolved nicely since I tasted it a year ago from barrel. In a distinctly generous style but structured for a long life in bottle. Finishes with gripping, tongue-saturating tannins and terrific chocolatey length.
A solid core of fruit, with currants, minerals, fresh mint, and stones. Full bodied and chewy. The mid palate should fill in later.
Wine & Spirits
Extravagantly rich, this seems to be perfumed by its tannins. Its heady, gravelly power and spicy black fruit is cut short in the finish, yielding to the wine’s alcohol. With several years in bottle, this will be ready to decant for a thick cut rib eye.
Combines deep, ripe dark berry fruit with crushed rock, cedar and lead pencil notes. A step back in richness and complexity for Insignia, this is built for cellaring. Tannins have a green, bitter edge. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Best from 2014 through 2024.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This deep ruby/purple-colored offering is an elegant, medium-weight wine with sweet red and black currant fruit, dark cherry, loamy soil and foresty characteristics as well as ripe tannin. This should be an early maturing Insignia that evolves quickly, but positively over the next 10-12 years.
Opaque ruby. Juicy, pure fruit with a luscious berry character. Scented spice from oak is quite apparent, but not overdone. Firm, ripe tannins give firm structure. A very good impression of Bordeaux, from the right bank, perhaps?