2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet - 750ml

2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet - 750ml

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2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet - 96 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 2005
Rating 96 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 96 RP - 2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet - 96 pts! The 2005 Proprietary Red Insignia (14.5% alcohol and typically aged 24 months in new French oak) is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot. Juicy, fresh and vibrant, with a dense, ruby/purple color, and a classic nose of licorice and crème de cassis as well as hints of new saddle leather and earth, the wine is a brilliant blend that after ten years shows no evidence of the 24 months it spent in new French oak. Full-bodied, opulent, but still youthful, this wine looks set for another 25-30 years of aging. The wine’s best elements are its finesse and elegance allied to great richness and intensity. This wine is accessible now, as most Insignias tend to be, but much of its greatness will be revealed over the next two decades. Since 2004, 100% of the Bordeaux varietals used in the Insignia proprietary blend have been from estate vineyards. The beautiful, dense ruby/purple-tinged 2005 Insignia (a 12,500-case blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, and 1% Merlot) possesses sweet aromas of black cherries, cassis, chocolate, camphor, and a subtle hint of roasted herbs. Medium to full-bodied and elegant, with a European style imposed on the rich, velvety, California fruit, this cuvee will benefit from several years of bottle age, and should easily keep for three decades. The Freestone Vineyard, a 100-acre, cool climate site planted on the Sonoma Coast by Joseph Phelps, is finally coming into production, offering consumers a bevy of different Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. There are three Chardonnay offerings, all of which emphasize the minerality and citrusy characteristics of this varietal with little intrusive oak, despite the fact that they are barrel-fermented and aged primarily in new French oak. The Cabernet Sauvignon program consists of three wines, the Cabernet Sauvignon, their famous proprietary red wine called Insignia, and their single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the western hillsides of Oakville, called Backus. The regular Cabernet is a solidly made, reliable effort usually comprised of about 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Petit Verdot, and occasionally Malbec. The single vineyard offering comes from Oakville’s Backus Vineyard. There are typically 1,500-2,500 cases produced from this biodynamically farmed vineyard. RP

Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator

Burghound

Burghound

Winery Details

Varietal Proprietary Blend
Vintage 2005
Rating 96 RP
Bottle Size 750 ml
Bottle Quantity 1
Country USA
Region California
Location North Coast
Producer Phelps Joseph
Color Red
Wine Type Table

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