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2017 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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. With structure and complexity to spare, it should do well over time; enjoy best from 2027-2032. *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 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 Robert Parker's 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)

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. 17.5+/20 points (TP) Inner quote mark (9/2020)

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Price: $249.99

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