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  • 2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia

2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia

  • 100 WA
  • 96 WS
  • 95 IWC
  • 75 JR
  • Variety
    Red Bordeaux Blend

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SKU: 56214-2002

This item is available by the case only


This is a final sale item

Not eligible for cancellations or refunds

  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 95

    ($150; a blend of 78% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot, 7% petit verdot and 1% malbec) Ruby-red. Sexy aromas of black raspberry, cedar, coffee, tobacco and bitter chocolate. Lush and smooth on entry, then dense and juicy in the middle, with intense, layered, sharply delineated dark berry and dark chocolate flavors saturating the entire palate. A powerful wine that is already quite expressive. Builds impressively on the back half, showing superb extract and a sweet finishing flavor of dark chocolate. This is consistently one of California 's very few great cabernet-based wines that is not from a single vineyard. Williams ranks this '02 with the winery's top recent vintages: 2001, 1999, 1997, 1994 and 1991.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2005
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 96

    Rich flavors fan out, the way you hope for, coating the palate with layers of currant, fresh earth, mineral, cedar, tobacco, mocha, black licorice and espresso. The tannins are firm and the structure built for a longer haul. Very much in its infancy still at age 10, it finds that unusual bridge between dense Napa fruit and a Bordeaux build. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
    Drink Dates: 2012-2032
    Author: James Laube
    Issue: Web Only - 2012
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 100

    The 2002 boasts an inky/purple color along with notes of graphite, violets, blackberries, creme de cassis and hints of charcoal and barbecue in addition to a full-bodied, multilayered mouthfeel that builds incrementally with great purity, staggering fruit concentration, and a long, velvety, 50+-second finish. This prodigious effort should continue to drink well for 20+ years.
    Drink Dates: 2013 - 2033
    Author: Robert Parker
    Issue: 1113
  • Jancis Robinson | Rating: 15

    Very healthy crimson ? more nuanced to look at than most of the California wines. Sweet, alcoholic overripe nose though. Not appetising. Very simple drying tannins and ordinary fruit. Not completely exaggerated but not a pleasure to drink.
    Author: Jancis Robinson
  • Vinous | Rating: 92

    (from a year featuring three heat spikes in September): Full red-ruby. Slightly roasted, high-toned black raspberry nose show a slightly pruney ripeness (the VA here was a relatively elevated 0.85). Creamy, plush and sweet, displaying excellent breadth and still-considerable baby fat. This was quite flashy on release but now seems to be in an adolescent phase. Big, building tannins saturate the tongue and front teeth. Winemaker Hepworth described it as "like a teenager, and without the suavity of tannins of the 2001." I'd leave it alone for at least a couple more years, at which point it may well merit a higher score.
    Drink Dates: 2018 - 2028
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: Apr 2016
  • Self | Rating: 51

    Author: David Spreng
  • Self | Rating: 100

    Author: Steve and Lizzie
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Author: Billy the Kid
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Author: juglum
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Author: Austin C
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Author: Danl
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Author: Fabroni
  • Self | Rating:

    Drink Dates: 2005-2026
    Author: Tallydoc
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Drink Dates: 2005-2035
    Author: rphillips26
  • Self | Rating: 95

    a beautifully balanced Napa cab. complex, nuanced with a huge nose and long finish. still drinking near perfection
    Drink Dates: 2016-2025
    Author: dozman3
  • Self | Rating: 98

    Absolutely fantastic. Holding up great and no signs of sowing down.
    Author: Brian F129
  • Anonymous | Rating: 97

    Awesome. Dense, deep ruby color. Concentrated aromas of blackcurrant, black cherry, honey, meat (blood?). Rich, balanced palate -- super extracted but plenty of tannins ... and a super-long finish that goes from warm to clean apple and vegetal notes. Wow -- this deserves all the raves it's getting. Doesn't taste too young at all -- it's hard to imagine being able to wait to taste this 5+ years from now.
    Author: Doug D722
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Blackberry and musty notes in good balance. Full bodied and rich flavor with a bit of tannin in the back round. Finishes smoothly and will continue to improve with additional aging.
    Drink Dates: 2015-2022
    Author: Charles M71
  • Self | Rating:

    Author: Michael N594
  • Self | Rating:

    Author: Jules G
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Incredible. Decanted for 2 hours and wow was it still really big and velvety. Coats the entire mouth with black fruit with beautiful acidity. Can't wait until I open the next bottle
    Drink Dates: 2009-2020
    Author: gd10102
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Medium ruby color, just starting to turn at the edges. Nose of glycerine and red flowers. Still a bit tannic after 14 years (the hallmark of Insignia) but starting to balance with the fruit. Full mouth feel. Blackberry, cassis, graphite, slight bit of green potatoes. Nice finish.
    Drink Dates: 2012-2026
    Author: Alexander C229
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Not the 2001. Good color with a tight nose of smoke, stone, and amorphous fruit. Lots of tannin. Excellent length. Smooth and supple in the mouth despite the strong tannins.
    Author: Daniel B
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Silky,refined,black fruit, elegant. Superb nose. Long finish. A fantastic wine.
    Drink Dates: 2013-2023
    Author: Walter Z
  • Anonymous | Rating: 93

    Still drinking young. A little short in the finish but still a lot of wine here. Nice spice and fruit.
    Drink Dates: 2008-2023
    Author: Robert S662
  • Self | Rating:

    Wine of the Year - Wine Spectator 2006
    Author: Thomas D465
  • Self | Rating:

    Wine of the Year
    Author: quesyrah
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Wine Spectator's #1 wine of the year for 2005. This wine was impossible to find. One day while shopping on route 22 I came across 5 bottles for $120 a bottle. On March 6,2006 this wine was auctioning for $167 a bottle. Not a bad return for 1 year but not like the winery informed me that by the end of 2005 it would be selling for $400 a bottle. Maybe in due time.
    Drink Dates: 2005-2021
    Author: cmoney
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Wow!! Still amazing 12 years on. This wine has a great nose, soft, sweet tannins and a classic Insignia flavor profile. Favorite at our recent tasting event.
    Author: Jeffrey M989
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.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 7265 bottles owned
  • 1125 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 93
    (Out of 1125 collectors)