2017 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1497461 97 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark This estate-grown blend combines 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, allowing the main variety to speak loudest. Gorgeously perfumed, it unfurls wave after wave of cassis, dusty rock and cocoa powder - seasonings that boost secondary characteristics of black and red currant and cherry. *Cellar Selection* (VB) Inner quote mark (11/2020)

96 points Decanter

Outer quote mark This has a real sense of freshness and grip. A pure expression of Cabernet with a shot of eucalyptus and menthol, extremely concentrated but with elegance and power. The tannins just grip on to your palate and don't let go leading to a lovely chewy finish. This is great stuff, with a discernibly finessed style that shows a fine tannic balance magnified through the lens of Californian heat and laced through with cassis, espresso and chocolate block. Great structure, this will take a few decades of ageing in its stride. 100% new oak, from five vineyards around Napa Valley, mainly in Stags Leap and Oak Knoll. (JA) Inner quote mark (8/2020)

96 points Int'l Wine Review

Outer quote mark The 2017 Joseph Phelps Insignia is a fabulous showing in this vintage. The final blend is composed of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, which spent 24 months in 100% new French oak. This immediately gets going with seductive aromatics of ripe black cherries, blackberries and hints of crème de cassis that are accented by baking spices, fresh violets, moist tobacco, hints of espresso and an earthy mineral character that all take shape and emerge beautifully from the glass. On the palate this is medium/full-bodied with excellent overall balance and poise. It delivers a mouthful of ripe dark/red fruits along with spice and mineral nuances that are framed beautifully by lovely acidity, which provides incredible energy and freshness through the long polished finish. While this is certainly impressive in its youth, it also has the characteristics to evolve for decades and looks as if the best is still yet to come. Insignia seems to have a track record of excelling in challenging vintages, and this is no exception, the 2017 is an absolutely sensational wine that should not be missed. (JD) Inner quote mark (4/2020)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Tasted out of bottle, the 2017 Insignia is beautiful stuff that excels in the vintage. Revealing a dense purple color as well as stunning notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco, and earth, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a silky, seamless texture, building tannins, and a great finish. It has the more linear, elegant style of the vintage, yet it’s balanced, has ample concentration, and is just a gorgeous wine that will evolve for 30 years or more. Inner quote mark (1/2021)

96 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark A beautiful, focused wine with a tight center palate of blackberries, blueberries and dark chocolate. Very subtle. Hints of mint and sage, too. Medium to full body and fine, racy tannins. A reserved and very pretty Insignia. Fresh finish. Inner quote mark (1/2020)

96 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant scents of Black Forest cake, preserved plums and blueberry pie plus touches of redcurrant jelly, potpourri, clove oil and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has gained weight from it's in-barrel offering, boasting rich, decadently perfumed black fruit preserves flavors with a racy backbone and velvety tannins, finishing long and spicy. (LPB) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

94 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark Ashley Hepworth blended the 2017 Insignia, working with Cabernet Sauvignon (94 percent) from the family’s estate vineyards (mostly Las Rocas and Barboza in the Stags Leap District, with smaller contributions from south Napa, Oak Knoll and St. Helena). It’s a significantly tighter selection than usual, given heat spikes and then the fires at the end of the vintage, but the top fruit of 2017 produced an extraordinary wine, one that maintains its cool for days after you first open the bottle. It’s dynamic and graceful, with floral red fruit and dense blueberry-skin tannins that give the wine length and staying power. Whitney Asher of Brava in Lenox, Mass., described the wine as 'bionic: It will last in your cellar for thirty years. You want to age it at least five years, or decant it for five hours.' (JG) Inner quote mark (12/2020)

94 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Delivers showy fruit, with layered flavors of warmed boysenberry, blackberry and açaí berry paste, framed by a subtle alder hint and backed by warm earth and cast iron details on the finish. Not shy, and well-built for the vintage. (JM) Inner quote mark (7/2020)

93 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2017 Insignia is quite powerful and dense. Inky dark fruit, leather, spice, menthol, lavender and licorice all race out of the glass. After bottling, the 2017 is quite a bit more shy than it was from barrel. The 2017 was made entirely from pre-fire lots and naturally lacks the opulence the later picks would have added. If opened young, the 2017 will benefit greatly from aeration. In 2017, most of the fruit came from estate vineyards in Stags Leap. (AG) 93+ Inner quote mark (1/2021)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Coconut sweetness in oak on the nose, but there is intense fruit too, with plummy, blackcurrant notes coating that extra sweetness. Expressive and opulent on the nose. Full of spice on the palate, but again the fruit bursts through with great intensity. This is impressive, modern but balanced. Give it some time to settle in the bottle but expect it to age well with the chalky tannins that coat the mouth through to the long finish. 17+/20 points (TP) Inner quote mark (9/2020)

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Price: $249.99
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