1997 Joseph Phelps - Insignia 750ml

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WS 97   WA 96   IWC 94   Collector 94
1997 Joseph Phelps - Insignia Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine


Wine Spectator | Rating: 97

Dense, rich and focused, youthful and concentrated, with hints of maturity on the edge of the core currant, mineral and spicy berry flavors. Wonderful vibrancy and intensity for a wine this age, which only bodes well for the future. A classic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot

Drink Dates: 2008-2020
Author: James Laube


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Wine Advocate | Rating: 96

The prodigious 1997 Insignia (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 3% Petit-Verdot) lives up to its pre-bottling promise. Tasted on three separate occasions, every bottle has hit the bull's eye. The color is a saturated thick-looking blue/purple. The nose offers up explosive aromas of jammy black fruits, licorice, Asian spices, vanillin, and cedar. Full-bodied as well as exceptionally pure and impressively endowed, this blockbuster yet surprisingly elegant wine cuts a brilliant swath across the palate. A seamless effort with beautifully integrated acidity, sweet tannin, and alcohol, it is still an infant, but can be drunk with considerable pleasure.

Drink Dates: 2000-2025
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 132

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International Wine Cellar | Rating: 94

Full ruby. Supersweet aromas of blackberry, cassis, bitter chocolate, espresso and tobacco. Thick and seamless yet bright and sharply defined. Very long and spicy on the aftertaste, with excellent grip. Sweet tannins coat the teeth. Williams says the selection for Insignia is based on quality and concentration rather than on a particular flavor profile.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 90

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Collector Reviews For This Wine


Rating: 100
Author: marv
Trust Rating: 97
Tasted On: 06/25/2014
Early

Rating: 97
Author: Front Man
Trust Rating: 100
Tasted On: 10/06/2012
Beautiful, seamless mature wine. Clear, deep ruby color. Aromas of leather, tobacco, dried herbs. Some nice fruit left, but it was in the back ground. This bottle was perfectly balanced, lively, with very silky tannins- one of those wines that was so easy to drink. On the first sip I detected a bit of oak on the finish but never noticed it again after that. I think this has the structure and body to age at least 10 more years for those that like older wine, but it is drinking beautifully right now if you like a bit of fruit remaining

Rating: 96
Author: rsmfranco
Tasted On: 12/24/2013
Very good tasted during the 2009 Insignia tasting.

Rating: 94
Author: dozman3
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 04/01/2015
Drink Dates: 2015-2030
this is a big classic Napa cab drinking in perfect balance with plenty of legs for years to go.

Rating: 92
Author: Scott R770
Tasted On: 12/20/2013
Firm tannin. med/high acidity. Aged well, still have several years left . Good but not spectacular.

Average rating: 93, based on 8 reviews
More Vintages and Sizes of Joseph Phelps - Insignia:

Collector Data For This Wine

7358 bottles owned by 1747 collectors.

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About This Producer


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.

Wine Varietal: Bordeaux Blend


Six varieties are permitted to be used in a red Bordeaux blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and, less frequently, Carmenere. Each lends a specific characteristic to the finished blends, most of which are dominated by large percentages of either Cabernet Sauvignon, which brings aromatics and age-ability, or Merlot, which adds softness and body. In the Bordeaux region, Cabernet blends are found on the Left Bank and Merlot on the Right.

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