2002 Joseph Phelps - Insignia 750ml

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WA 98   WS 96   IWC 95   Collector 93
2002 Joseph Phelps - Insignia Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine


Wine Advocate | Rating: 98

The 2002 Insignia (a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec) is performing even better than it did post-bottling. A cross Napa County blend of some of their finest vineyard sources, it offers a super-sweet nose of creme de cassis, charcoal, incense, cedar and forest floor, full body and silky tannins. It is one of the few Napa Cabernet Sauvignon blends that is world-class, capable of 30+ years of cellaring, and made in abundant quantities (between 8,000-15,000 cases). I remember tasting the 1974 Insignia in the late 1970's and stating that it would need to be drunk in its first 5-6 years of life. Wrong. That wine, which is now 38 years of age, is still a beauty!

Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 201

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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


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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: Issue 120

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Collector Reviews For This Wine


Rating: 100
Author: Steve and Lizzie
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 02/21/2015

0 of 1 people found this review useful.


Rating: 98
Author: Brian F129
Trust Rating: 100
Tasted On: 08/03/2014
Absolutely fantastic. Holding up great and no signs of sowing down.

1 of 1 people found this review useful.


Rating: 96
Author: Ronn L
Trust Rating: 90
Tasted On: 08/11/2014
Decant and let sit for at least an hour. Drinking very well now. Drink over the next couple of years.

1 of 1 people found this review useful.


Rating: 96
Author: Danl
Trust Rating: 95
Tasted On: 05/17/2015

Rating: 92
Author: Fabroni
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 01/10/2015

0 of 1 people found this review useful.


Average rating: 91, based on 8 reviews
More Vintages and Sizes of Joseph Phelps - Insignia:

Collector Data For This Wine

11974 bottles owned by 2645 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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