2010 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
*Cellar Selection* This is, as always, a gorgeous wine, rich, balanced and delicious. It shows classic Napa Valley ripeness, with blackberry jam, plum, dark chocolate and sweet oak flavors. Plush and velvety doesn’t begin to do it justice. Despite its fabulous lushness, this is a wine to age. Depending on your taste, it will provide excellence from now until 2030.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A gorgeously intense bouquet of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, black currants, blackberries, and subtle smoke and foresty aromas jumps from the glass of this full-bodied, rich, concentrated wine with soft tannins, a multidimensional mouthfeel, and a long, rich finish displaying well-integrated acidity, tannin, alcohol and wood. This beauty is one of the top Insignias produced over recent years. It should age easily for 20+ years. (RP)
Bright, dark ruby. Very young, brilliantly pure aromas of dark fruits and strong minerality. Then wonderfully juicy but youthfully imploded, conveying an impression of weightlessness to its penetrating flavors of cassis, blackberry, minerals, dark chocolate and flowers. Savory, sappy, rather masculine wine with terrific precision and energy but still folded in on itself today. Finishes suave, vibrant and very long, with sophisticated fine-grained tannins in perfect harmony with the wine's fruit. Very little Suscol fruit went into the blend as it was too green, according to Hepworth. (ST)
It is a very rare outing in which Insignia does not rank among the best and nothing has changed in 2010. Right from the start, this latest effort impresses with its depth, its obvious polish and its vibrancy, and, while never wanting for ripeness, it is a wonderfully layered and patently sophisticated wine of real pedigree. Its ample, but decidedly fine tannins and its firm acid balance mark it as one that will evolve handsomely for a decade or two despite the fact that its refinement is sure to tempt early drinking, and it deserves to be set aside and patiently saved for special occasions.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright, deep red. Captivating violet lift to the aromas of cassis, minerals, bitter chocolate, licorice and sexy oak; I would have guessed this had a good deal of Cabernet Franc. Then extremely primary on the palate, but already showing a seductive sugar/acid balance. Boasts lovely clarity and lift to its dark fruit, minerals and bitter chocolate flavors. Finishes with a serious brace of tongue-dusting tannins and outstandingly subtle, juicy persistence. A brilliant showing considering it was bottled just a month prior to my visit: eight or ten years in the cellar may well bring an even higher score. A year ago, I preferred the 2009, but this evolved beautifully during its final months of elevage. Director of winemaker Damian Parker always destems the fruit but typically ferments with some whole berries. 94(+?)
*Collectibles* Firm, dense and deeply concentrated, this offers a powerful thrust of flavors, with mocha- and espresso-laced blackberry, black licorice and cedar notes, revving up on the finish. Long, pure, driven and persistent, this seems set for a long life. Best to cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec. Best from 2015 through 2028. (JL)
Aromas of blueberries, chocolate and licorice follow through to a full body, with soft tannins and a fresh finish. This is a luscious, delicious JP Insignia. Harmonies and forward now. Drink now or hold.
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 2% Malbec.