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2004 Joseph Phelps Insignia

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 94 WA
  • 94 WS
  • 93 IWC
  • Variety
    Red Bordeaux Blend
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SKU: 56214-2004

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  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93

    ($200; cabernet sauvignon with 14% merlot, 12% petit verdot and 2% minerals) Bright ruby-red. Complex nose melds cassis, black cherry, lead pencil and cedar. Sweet and fat but with a firm structure and very good vinosity. There's a sappy quality to the currant, cedar and chocolate flavors. Boasts the density of the vintage's best examples but, in comparison to the Backus, the tannins hit the palate a bit earlier. The very long finish hints at cedar and graphite. I'd put this aside for a couple of years.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2007
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 94

    A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec, the 2004 Insignia was aged 24 months in new French oak. It boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as rich, full-bodied, supple tannins, abundant fruit and exciting levels of complexity and richness. This cuvee's large production makes it one of the finest quality/quantity Cabernets produced in Napa Valley. Drink it over the next two decades.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 94

    Tight and complex, with a deep, potent core of ripe currant, herb, sage and dusty berry fruit, shaded by light toasty, cedary oak. Deftly balanced, intense and concentrated, this is young and closed in now, yet you can taste the depth and richness. Tannic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
    Author: James Laube
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Author: gd10102
  • Self | Rating: 5

    Author: tommy
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Author: Rick H.
  • Self | Rating: 98

    Author: GeoB
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Drink Dates: 2010-2022
    Author: Serl Z
  • Self | Rating:

    excellent.
    Author: Michael N594
  • Self | Rating:

    Nintage
    Author: Sally S
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Very good to excellent. One of my favorite Insignia vintages, it is smooth, well integrated, and has |classic| Insignia nose and flavor profiles. It really seems to be in a sweet spot now in terms of age -- I will probably drink my last two bottles in the next year or so.
    Drink Dates: 2011-2012
    Author: Jeffrey M989
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Very nice wine. Still has depth in flavors,mouth feel and body.. this wine will be nice for a few more years. Light oak, good dark fruit from start to finish.
    Drink Dates: 2016-2018
    Author: Bryon
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Wonderful texture, weight, concentration and depth without feeling weighty and bulky. Balance is the key here, and this one has it all. One of the best Insignia I have ever had. Color: Dark and brooding, red edges. Nose: Deep blackberry, currants and mocha-choclate like aromas, atouch of sweet oak. Palate: More of the above with a silkyness that was exquisite, tannins were there but structured well and integrated perfectly into the balance of this wine.
    Drink Dates: 2010-2020
    Author: Koby
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Wonderful wine with steak dinner. Elegant, beautiful nose. Strong notes of graphite. Second time I've had this wine and it's just a flat out winner. Just as memorable the second time around. I need more of this.
    Author: rdalehite
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

  • 2601 bottles owned
  • 461 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 95
    (Out of 461 collectors)