2007 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (1.5L)

SKU #1056988 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Aged 24 months in new French oak, this infant 2007 exhibits an inky/purple color along with notes of graphite, spring flowers and smoky oak. This full-bodied, classic Insignia reveals fabulous depth, ripeness, texture, viscosity and richness. Still young and unformed, it should evolve for 25 or more years. (RP)  (11/2013)

96 points Connoisseurs Guide

 This year's Insignia builds on past success and is as always a sophisticated and exceptionally deep wine. Its extraordinary marriage of layered richness and finesse places it among the year's very best, and, while fit with plenty of young Cabernet tannin, it is even now a wine of real polish that seems to show a little more with each sip. It is a wine for collecting and saving to special occasions, and it will last if well-cellared for a decade or more.  (12/2010)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Firm, intense and concentrated, massive yet well-proportioned, with a dense, focused core of graphite, dried currant, blackberry, black tea, forest floor and blueberry flavors. Full-blown, finishing with rich, layered tannins that beg for cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2013 through 2025. 13,500 cases made.  (10/2010)

95 points James Suckling

 Aromas of blackberry, leather, lead pencil, and flowers. On the palate this is dense and velvety, with a gorgeous texture. Agile and balanced, this is hard not to drink right now. The finish is long, with notes of coffee and dark fruits.  (1/2011)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Claret-like nose offers cassis, minerals, bitter chocolate and strong soil tones. Densely packed and quite tight today, in a classically dry style. But there's also superb sex appeal and excellent energy to the flavors of plum, currant, licorice, bitter chocolate and spices. Most impressive today on the long, chocolatey aftertaste. (ST)  (5/2010)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 You have to count this as another great Insignia, dry and complex and ageworthy, although the tannins are fierce now, and it may lack just a bit of the glamor of, say, the 2004 or 2001. It’s certainly a big wine that floods the mouth with blackberry, black currant, cassis and new oak flavors. The tannins and acids make it aloof, resistant, tough. It wants time in the cellar. Best after 2013. Production was a hefty 13,500 cases.  (2/2011)

93 points Vinous

 (a dry year with a good early budbreak but relatively low cluster weights): Saturated medium ruby. Very fresh black fruit aromas are complicated by licorice, espresso and dark chocolate and lifted by a violet topnote. Flashier, fleshier and sweeter than the relative closed 2006, conveying an almost syrupy concentration without going over the top. A bomb of ripe dark fruits with complementary torrefaction notes, but this very thick wine is also unevolved and in need of more cellaring to gain in complexity, not to mention to resolve its big, tongue-clenching tannins. Includes 40% Suscol vineyard fruit, which Hepworth says "does great in warm years." Incidentally production in 2007 was down 20% from 2006. (ST)  (4/2016)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 Phelps's top red wine is a blend of cabernet sauvignon (88 percent), merlot and petit verdot, all grown at estate vineyards. Most of the fruit comes from the southern districts of Napa Valley—Suscol, a relatively cool site in South Napa, along with Stags Leap and Oak Knoll. That cool tone comes across in red currant flavors, in the quiet presence of a substantial wine. It's sleek with dark tannin that feels youthful and austere, hinting at a Christmas spice that predicts what holiday celebrations might be in store ten years down the line.  (4/2011)

Jancis Robinson

 Vibrant cassis and black cherry fruit with a herbal note for complexity. Insignia is typically rich and opulent, though the 2007 is more focused and refreshing – delicious now and a good candidate for the cellar.  (12/2010)

K&L Notes

More from Robert Parker: "Perhaps I should just go ahead and give this 2007 a three-digit score as it is a profoundly great Cabernet Sauvignon-based effort. The production was 13,500 cases of this 100% estate fruit blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. The alcohol came in at 14.5%. The growing season was nearly ideal, with early bud break, generous flowering, a bountiful crop size, and summer weather that was warm and dry with no significant heat spikes. According to the Phelps winemaking team, the cluster grape weights in 2007 came in 23-45% lower than average, which surprised everyone. However, the fruit quality was one of the finest they had ever seen. The result is one of the top Insignias yet produced."

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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 Médoc 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5