2006 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
*Three stars* Already amazingly seductive with wonderfully rich aromas of sweet oak, cocoa and fully expressed fruit making a first-rate introduction, this riveting young wine in no way lets up on the palate and delivers deep, multi-faceted flavors that combine ripeness, sweet oak and very precise fruit in near-perfect proportion. As is often the case with Insignia bottlings, it is so beautifully balanced that it invites early drinking, and, while we do not condemn giving in to its charms, we also would lobby strongly for patience as its best years lie down the line.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Insignia possesses a deep ruby/purple color as well as copious amounts of cassis, but has not yet developed secondary nuances. It remains a big, full-throttle, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine with 14.5% natural alcohol, impressive purity, sweet tannin, decent acidity and a monolithic personality. Everything needed for a graceful evolution is present, and the 2006 should keep for another two decades.
*Cellar Selection* There are $15 Cabs that are better to drink now. This is so strong and fruity, so oaky, so tannic, it just overwhelms the palate in its extreme youth. Just massive in blackberries, black currants, coffee, cocoa, dried herbs and 100% new, smoky-sweet French. Ridiculous to open it anytime soon. Desperately needs time in the bottle, and the point score reflects potential. Try 2012-2018.
Teasing with its floral, spicy cherry, wild berry and currant aromas, this is full-bodied, firm and structured, tight and focused, offering glimpses of what lies ahead with its complex mix of flavors and tightly wound tannins. Yet its finesse and refinement are apparent on the finish. Needs time.
A wonderful nose of chocolate, blueberries, and cherries. Full and velvety on the palate, with glorious fruit and fine tannins. Long and juicy with the fruit in balance. Give this about three to four years. Better after 2015.