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Joseph Phelps Insignia Proprietary Red Wine 2019 (750ML)

$264.89 $244.89
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Napa Valley
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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

99 JD / 97 DE / 97 JA / 97 WI / 96+ VM / 96 WA / 17 JR

Another beautiful wine from this team, the 2019 Insignia is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon but includes smaller amounts of Merlot and Malbec, brought up all in new barrels, sourced from seven estate vineyards. It has a classic varietal and incredibly complex nose of crème de cassis, freshly sharpened pencils, green tobacco, and damp earth, with a kiss of background sappy spring flowers. Seemingly from a cooler year with its freshness, vibrancy, and herbal, floral character on the nose, it's nevertheless full-bodied and beautifully concentrated on the palate, with ultra-fine tannins, a seamless, layered mouthfeel, and a gorgeous finish. Unquestionably up with the finest vintages of this cuvée, this is legit awesome juice that’s going to offer incredible pleasure over the coming 20-25 years. Hats off to winemaker Ashley Hepworth. - Jeb Dunnuck

Smells ripe and heady on the nose, expressive and seductive. This is rich and bold, it's edging on too much, with lots of wood on show in the slightly heavy texture, liquorice and coffee flavour and fullness in the mouth but there are such alluring and captivating aspects to this wine with striking details of rose, tobacco, blackberry, red berries and dark chocolate shavings on show. I like the fragranced aspects and the energetic acidity that gives lift and a sense of brightness but this is a strong, powerful and muscular wine that will need at least a decade to come around. Given enough time it will be beautiful. Ageing 24 months in 100% new French oak. - Georgina Hindle, Decanter

The classic Joseph Phelps bottling, released this year after three years of ageing in barrel and bottle. Espresso, cocoa bean, cassis, earth, crushed rock, leather, finely sculpted tannins in this most balanced of Napa vintages. The 2019 Insignia marks the first vintage to include fruit from the new Joseph Phelps vineyard named El Venadito, located in the Oak Knoll District, just south of the winery’s Yountville Vineyard. Owned by LVMH at time of release, but made under the former owners. - Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux

A blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec, the 2019 Insignia is deep garnet-purple colored. It needs a shake or two before the glass combusts with atomic scents of creme de cassis, blueberry preserves, and stewed black cherries, followed by subtle suggestions of cedar chest, pencil lead, iron ore, and crushed rocks, plus a waft of cloves. Full-bodied, rich, and concentrated, the palate delivers compelling poise led by firm, fine-grained tannins and a lively line of freshness, finishing with epic length. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Independent

The 2019 Insignia is a bold, explosive wine. Sumptuous dark fruit, mocha, leather, sweet spice and tobacco are all amplified in an Insignia endowed with tremendous textural intensity and plenty of soft contours. I imagine the 2019 will age well for years, but it will also drink well with minimal cellaring. - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

More elegant and refined than the Napa Cab, the 2019 Insignia features restrained cedar and vanilla notes (despite spending two years in 100% new French oak) and delicate herbal shadings accenting cassis and black cherry fruit. Full-bodied, velvety and somewhat open-knit on the palate, it turns plush and long on the finish, adding a touch of warmth. Production this year is approximately 17,000 cases, reflecting the increased volume coming from recently replanted vineyards. It's remarkable what a good job they continue to do with this bottling year after year, without compromising on quality. - Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate

Much like the Cabernet, the Insignia is quintessential Napa Cab. Cassis, almond extract and vanilla on the nose together with burning charcoal and cedar. The palate is brambly and rich, though with a little more freshness that adds a harmony not present in the straight Cabernet. Dense and structured with a firm finish underneath the plentiful, sweet fruit. This should improve with age. (TP) - Jancis Robinson

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