Joseph Phelps Insignia 2015
In 1974 Joe Phelps had the idea to make a separate cuvée each year, one that would represent the finest wine he could make from each vintage. He didn’t necessarily think it would always be a Cabernet Sauvignon. It might be a white wine in some years, a Chardonnay or a Riesling, or it might be a Syrah or Merlot. His only thought was to make one wine that represented the best of what Joseph Phelps Vineyards could produce each year. He decided to name the wine Insignia, a proprietary name that would give him the flexibility to make the wine out of any varietal he chose. As it happened, 1974 was a great year for Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley and the 1974 Insignia was 94% Cabernet from the Stags Leap District. The following year Merlot dominated the blend, and in 1976, it returned to Cabernet, this time from the Eisele Vineyard. It was becoming increasingly clear that red Bordeaux varieties – particularly Cabernet Sauvignon - were ideally suited to Napa Valley and would consistently yield the best wines of the vintage. From 1977 on, Cabernet Sauvignon was never less than 50% of the Insignia blend and gradually became the dominant varietal. Joe’s vision evolved: Insignia would always be a proprietary red Bordeaux-style blend. Over forty years later, Insignia is recognised as one of the world’s most iconic wines. The 2002 vintage was awarded “Wine of the Year” by Wine Spectator magazine in 2005 and Robert Parker Wine Advocate has awarded four perfect 100-point scores to the 1991, 1997, 2002 and 2007 vintages of Insignia.
The 2015 Insignia is a composition of Cabernet Sauvignon (90%), Petit Verdot (7%), Cabernet Franc (2%) and Malbec (1%). Matured for two years in new French oak this vintage of Insignia is densely hued with rich dark fruit, cocoa powder and fragrant dried flower notes. Velvety texture and weight on the palate with layers of juicy black plum, Madagascar vanilla and bergamot. Bold, creamy and supple with integrated tannin structure and a lengthy finish.