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2011 Joseph Phelps Insignia

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 93 WA
  • 88 WS
  • 91 IWC
  • 92 JS
  • Variety
    Red Bordeaux Blend
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SKU: 56214-2011-750

This item is available by the case only

Total:
$1.00

This is a final sale item

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  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 91

    (13,000 cases made; 82% cabernet sauvignon, 11% petit verdot, 4% malbec, 2% merlot and 1% cabernet franc): Good bright medium ruby. Nicely perfumed nose offers scents of currant, plum, tobacco, mocha and dark chocolate. Plush and sweet on the palate; perhaps smaller-scaled than the top vintages of Insignia but there's plenty of texture and depth here. Dark berry flavors are complicated by subtle tobacco leaf, menthol and dried herb nuances. Finishes plummy and sweet, with big building tannins and lots of sexy oak; largely avoids the dryness of the Napa Valley version. This is the first vintage of Insignia to include all five of the major Bordeaux red varieties.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2014
  • JamesSuckling.com | Rating: 92

    A balanced, delicious Insignia for early drinking. Aromas of currants, blueberries and licorice follow through to a full to medium body, fine tannins and a clean finish. Yummy. Drink or hold.
    Author: James Suckling
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 88

    Rugged, rustic, tannic and chewy, this is austere throughout, with dry, gritty currant, blackberry and graphite flavors. In sync with the vintage, the tannins push back and end on the dry side. This wine has a great reputation for gaining with age, though 2011 presented unique challenges. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
    Author: James Laube
  • Vinous | Rating: 95

    The 2011 Insignia is showing beautifully today. The cool vintage has given the 2011 distinctly European leanings in both the flavors and structure. At the same time, there is tons of energy and pure vibrancy in the glass. It will be interesting to see where the 2011 goes once it is in bottle, but it is almost likely to require several years to fully come together. The 2011 is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 2% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc.
    Author: Antonio Galloni
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 93

    The 2011's deep ruby/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of bouquet garni, mint, red and black currants, tobacco leaf and licorice, and a surprisingly intense, full-bodied mouthfeel with more richness and intensity than I would have expected from this vintage. It is also precocious and can be drunk upon release or cellared for 15 or more years.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 91

    Drink Dates: 2016-2025
    Author: jimc
  • Self | Rating:

    Drink Dates: 2016-2026
    Author: flwine
  • Self | Rating: 86

    I know '11 was terrible, but this wine was really not up to par (and I paid $20 more than I did for the 2010). Drank this alongside a 2011 Larkmead and Shafer (as well as their 2010 counterparts) and this was the worst of the lot. Not bad wine, but not good. At twice the price of the others (which I heard were from declassified grapes from those wineries), the Insignia was almost insulting. Glad to put 2011 in the rear view mirror!
    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.

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

  • 2018 bottles owned
  • 167 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 89
    (Out of 167 collectors)