2002 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1017633 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2002 boasts an inky/purple color along with notes of graphite, violets, blackberries, creme de cassis and hints of charcoal and barbecue in addition to a full-bodied, multilayered mouthfeel that builds incrementally with great purity, staggering fruit concentration, and a long, velvety, 50+-second finish. This prodigious effort should continue to drink well for 20+ years. (RP)  (11/2013)

96 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Three Stars* Once again showing the extraordinary combination of polish, fruity depth and wonderfully rich oak that is particular to the very best of the Insignia lineup, this concentrated, intensely aromatic wine comes up long on character and style. Its evident ripeness is manifest in a touch of last-minute heat, but its fleshy feel, superb balance and neatly fit tannin bring it a peerless sense of refinement that will tease us all long before this stunningly compelling bottling reaches its finely polished peak some five to seven years hence.  (12/2005)

96 points Wine Spectator

 *Wine of the Year 2005* Rich flavors fan out, the way you hope for, coating the palate with layers of currant, fresh earth, mineral, cedar, tobacco, mocha, black licorice and espresso. The tannins are firm and the structure built for a longer haul. Very much in its infancy still at age 10, it finds that unusual bridge between dense Napa fruit and a Bordeaux build. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. (JL, Web-2012)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 A luscious vintage of Insignia, this '02 has the sleek feel of fine Napa Valley cabernet. There's fragrant red berry and forest-floor character at the center of the wine, then blacker currant flavors and tannin softened by luxurious oak in the end. Touches of super-ripeness add to the richness without diminishing the wine's freshness.  (2/2006)

92 points Vinous

 Full red-ruby. Slightly roasted, high-toned black raspberry nose show a slightly pruney ripeness (the VA here was a relatively elevated 0.85). Creamy, plush and sweet, displaying excellent breadth and still-considerable baby fat. This was quite flashy on release but now seems to be in an adolescent phase. Big, building tannins saturate the tongue and front teeth. Winemaker Hepworth described it as 'like a teenager, and without the suavity of tannins of the 2001.' I'd leave it alone for at least a couple more years, at which point it may well merit a higher score. 92+ (ST)  (4/2016)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 This celebrated wine is not mind-blowing right now. It's dry, oaky, tannic and soft. There's a wealth of cassis and moo shu pork flavors, and huge new oak. Yet it holds itself back, teasing but withdrawing into its tannic cloak. Collectors, be reassured it's worth stashing.  (12/2005)

Jancis Robinson

 Glowing blackish purple. Silky smooth texture with a little putty notes on the nose. Hint of something roasted but very much more integrated and silky than the 2001. Already broachable. Lip smacking. Pure. Not shy though! 18/20 points.  (3/2013)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.