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2015 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1377506 96-100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Insignia is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, and the rest Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This wine looks to be another killer effort, with 13,000 cases produced. Dense purple in color, with notes of white flowers, blueberries, blackberries, coffee, white chocolate and new oak, the wine is dense, thick, viscous, chewy and succulent. It should drink beautifully young but age effortlessly for 35 or more years. (RP)  (10/2016)

97 points Connoisseurs Guide

 It is a rare vintage when Insignia does not impress, and, in 2015, it takes a place at the very head of the class in what is proving to be an outstanding year for Cabernet Sauvignon. It is, as usual, a wine of great crafting and polish with a refined sense of strength and as much finesse as fruity richness. It is so well-mannered that it is understandable that many will be tempted into drinking it in the very near future, but it is barely beginning to give voice to all that it is, and it is a keenly balanced composition that is certain to show more and more layering as it evolves over the next ten to twelve years.  (12/2018)

96 points James Suckling

 The subtlety and brightness to this one. Blackcurrants, fresh mint and sage undertones. Full-bodied, yet so tight and reserved. Linear and very racy with fantastic blackberries, crush stones and lead pencil. Love the finish. This is a wine that needs three to four years of bottle age. Try in 2022.  (5/2018)

91-94 points Vinous

 The 2015 Insignia is an especially ripe, sumptuous wine, but it is developing nicely. Readers can look forward to an opulent, flamboyant wine built on racy fruit and juiciness. Crème de cassis, chocolate, lavender and cloves add to the wine's dark personality. In 2015, Insignia is quite exotic in feel. Because of the challenges of the growing season, winemaker Ashley Hepworth omitted Merlot from the blend. (AG)  (3/2018)

K&L Notes

97-100 points Lisa Perrotti Brown, Wine Advocate: "A barrel sample blended of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec coming from six vineyards and reared in 100% new French oak, the 2015 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a very deep inky-purple color and nose of crushed red and black currants, blackberry pie and plums with hints of dried herbs, sandalwood, spice box and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers a knock-out core of intense, energetic fruit with chewy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with epic length and freshness. 12,500 cases are expected to be bottled." (10/2017)


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Price: $229.99

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Additional Information:

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.
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.
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.