1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet - 750ml

1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet - 750ml

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1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet - 100 pts!

In 1974 Joe Phelps had the idea to make a separate cuvee 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.


Product Details

Varietal Proprietary Blend
Vintage 1997
Rating 100 RP
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region California
Location North Coast
Producer Phelps Joseph
Color Red
Wine Type Table

Robert Parker

Rating

100 RP - An inky/plum/purple color is accompanied by a stunning bouquet of violets, charcoal, creme de cassis and a hint of toast. Prodigious when it hits the palate with a full-bodied expansiveness, there is not a hard edge to be found in the 1997, only velvety tannins, compelling depth and fruit intensity, and stunning purity. It is a perfect expression of Napa viticulture and wine that should continue to age effortlessly for two decades or more. An ideal warm, dry spring, June and July was followed by a surprisingly cool August that slowed down what looked to be rapid sugar accumulation in the grapes. September's temperatures were average to above average, without any potentially damaging heat spikes. This allowed the harvest to unfurl slowly, with no stress or imminent danger. For many Napa Cabernet Sauvignons, this resulted in one of the top vintages of the nineties. Consumers, observers and wine critics will undoubtedly argue for decades over which vintage of the nineties turned out to be the "finest" 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995 or 1997. The 1997 Insignia is a 20,000-case blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, with 60% coming from estate vineyards and 40% from growers. The alcohol came in at 13.8%. RP

Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator

Burghound

Burghound

Winery Details

Varietal Proprietary Blend
Vintage 1997
Rating 100 RP
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region California
Location North Coast
Producer Phelps Joseph
Color Red
Production
20,000 cases

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