1996 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Proprietary Red
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Aged 22 months in 100% new French oak, this blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Merlot reveals a powerful core of red and black fruits, dusty, loamy soil, lavender and a hint of toast. I would not describe it as elegant, but rather, it is a big, backstrapping, Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine that should continue to drink well for 15 or more years. (RP)
Fresh, with herbal dill and currant aromas, this is fresh and concentrated on the palate. Intense, with vivid currant, anise, herb and cedar notes. Ends with a complex aftertaste, firm tannins and good structure. (Web-2007)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good deep ruby. Rich aromas of dusty black cherry, chocolate and cedar; slight suggestion of crystallized fruit. Fairly full in the mouth, with sweet flavors of plum and cedar. Substantial chewy tannins come late on the palate. Not as complex or fine as the '95 Insignia, but another very good vintage for this bottling.