2006 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1050409 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *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.  (12/2009)

94 points 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. (RP)  (11/2013)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *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.  (3/2010)

94 points Wine Spectator

 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. (JL)  (10/2009)

92 points James Suckling

 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.  (2/2011)

92 points Vinous

 Bright medium ruby. Aromas of cassis, briary blackberry, mocha and black tea, plus a rocky, flinty minerality unlike any previous vintage of Insignia. Silky-sweet and fine-grained but with noteworthy energy to its dark berry, tar and mineral flavors. Finishes with huge tannins and slowly building length. This brooding, closed wine still needs time to absorb more of its tannins. 92+ (ST)  (4/2016)

K&L Notes

In a more recent tasting, Connoisseur's Guide's Charles Olken said about the 2006: "I pick out 2006 for a very personal reason. It was never a favored vintage among most commentators, but it was a year in which many good wines were made. And more to the point, it was a vintage, with its lighter, less concentrated style, that the English pundits just loved for its restraint. The 2006 is now a decade old and it is rounding into shape in the way that we hope our cellared Cabernets will. It is gaining complexity and richness and it has plenty of room to grow for another decade. Good on the Brits for picking it out." (8/2016)

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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.

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.


- 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.
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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.