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  • 1994 Joseph Phelps - Insignia

1994 Joseph Phelps - Insignia

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 96 WA
  • 93 WS
  • Variety
    Red Bordeaux Blend
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SKU: 56214-1994-1500-0
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 93

    A tremendous wine that combines dark, rich, deeply concentrated flavors with a sense of grace and finesse. This is still a bold, potent youngster, with a wealth of currant, mocha, anise and sage flavors. The tannins are big, too, but they're ripe and they let the rich flavors push through.--California Cabernet '74/'84/'94 retrospective. 8,000 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 96

    The 1994 Insignia (a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc) is spectacular. I have had the wine a half-dozen or more times, and it is unquestionably opulent, sexy, flamboyant, explosively rich, concentrated, and a thrill to drink. Already gorgeous, it promises to evolve gracefully for two decades or more. The color is a healthy saturated dark purple. The spicy nose offers aromas of black currants, allspice, pain grille, and soy, with scents of a burning wood fire thrown in for additional complexity. This full-bodied, opulent, dazzling wine is exhilarating to drink.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Drink Dates: 2002-2016
    Author: KIP
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Author: Super V
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Author: Ronn L
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Author: zepierotti
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Author: taipanli
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Author: Ferrari Anthony
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Drink Dates: 2016-2018
    Author: StuTarheel
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Author: juglum
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Beautiful wine, aged perfectly. Black currant juice, white pepper, black tea, saddle leather on the nose. The palate is a stunning balance of silky tannin and subtle acid. 45 second finish.
    Drink Dates: 2000-2013
    Author: JMC22
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Consumed at wine tasting. (1st flight was horizontal, comparing 1994 CA Bordeaux blends. 2nd flight was vertical, comparing different Dominus vintages. This wine was in the 1st flight.) Color: Brick red, light rim, slow legs. Aroma: Fruity. Flavor: Bright, fruity, acidic, medium tannins.
    Author: lordotheporto
  • Self | Rating: 94

    excellent, impressive how young still and looks! seems a 10yr old instead of 20! lot of ripe fruits....red currant, red cheeries, blackcherry, then the expected hints of leather and scents of toasty oak. excellent acidity and medium to long finish. Drink although it could lasts some years of nice drinking but not reason to wait :)
    Drink Dates: 2004-2022
    Author: Jito72
  • Self | Rating: 85

    Maybe a little over the hill but pleasant wine. Somewhat herbal, fruit is fading. Best to drink now. All in all, not the best bottle of Insignia.
    Author: Oenodoc
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Needed to drink now.
    Author: Billy the Kid
  • Self | Rating:

    Outstanding. Drunk at wine options dinner. Cherries, berries..Drinking well with some time say +5.
    Author: Peter B
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Smooth tannins. Rich aged beautifully.
    Author: Jam02110
Since its founding in 1972, Joseph Phelps Vineyards has been on the cutting edge of many California wine developments. From the Bordeaux-blend Insignia, first made in 1974 and Wine Spectator's wine of the year for the 2002 vintage; to the resurrection of California Syrah, also first produced in 1974, the winery has earned critical acclaim for its many estate-grown wines.

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

White Bordeaux blends are most commonly composed of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, and come in a range of dry and sweet styles. Sémillon contributes body while Sauvignon Blanc adds high acidity, a characteristic that is particularly important in the sweet wines of Bordeaux.

Sauternes is one of the world’s most prestigious regions for sweet wine production, made possible by Sémillon’s affinity for noble rot. Wines from world-renowned Château d’Yquem are fermented and matured in new oak for up to three years and can age for decades in bottle. These wines display complex aromas of melon, honey, apricot, citrus peel, mango, and butterscotch and develop added complexity and aromas with age.

The best dry wines from this blend come from producers such as Château Haut-Brion, Château Pape Clément, and Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan and Graves. These wines are typically fermented and matured in new oak and display a full-bodied richness with concentrated nutty flavors overlaying the fruit.

Due to its freshness and flavor profile, dry white Bordeaux blends pair well with almost any white food, including all types of fish, poultry, veal, and pork. The sweet wines of Bordeaux pair well with foie gras, oysters, blue cheese, spicy food (particularly Asian cuisines), any dish with sweet notes, and of course, dessert.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 2680 bottles owned
  • 434 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 94
    (Out of 434 collectors)