Joseph Phelps Insignia 2018 750ML
The grapes selected for Insignia were handpicked during early morning cool temperatures and hand sorted. Grapes received 5 days of cold soaking before fermentation, followed by extended maceration of up to 40 days, adding to the rich, vibrant hue, a fuller mouthfeel and more concentrated, intense flavors in the young wines prior to their aging.
The 2008 Insignia boasts aromatic layers of dark roasted coffee and graphite. The seductive mouth-feel has excellent length, intensely ripe black fruit, minerality and creaminess that tie together seamlessly on the palate.
The 2008 growing season started out with lower than normal rainfall for the second year in a row and the longest cold and frosty spring recorded since 1971. May brought unusually high temperatures in the midst of bloom during the latter part of the month. Such drastic weather changes lead to imbalances in the vine, especially at this important time in the lifecycle, prompting flower fertilization to cease prematurely in some Cabernet Sauvignon clones. Surprisingly, this was a blessing in disguise leading to looser and lighter cluster formation. This natural thinning allowed adequate airflow within the clusters during maturation and also nicely balanced out the crop load on each vine. June, July and August had consistently warm temperatures that led to even and healthy vine development. Overall the 2008 vintage yielded high-quality tannins resulting in age-worthy Cabernets.
BLEND AND GRAPE SOURCES
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot from 100% estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards which break down as follows: 32% Napa Valley (Suscol Vineyard in South Napa), 27% Stags Leap District (14% Barboza Vineyard and 13% Las Rocas Vineyard), 23% Oak Knoll District (Yountville Vineyard), 13% St. Helena (Home Ranch Vineyard) and 5% Rutherford (Banca Dorada Vineyard).
95 Points - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
It exhibits a beautiful opaque purple color along with a sumptuous bouquet of creme de cassis, incense, forest floor, spring flowers, blueberries and subtle new oak. It possesses sweet tannins and cuts a full-bodied swath across the palate. Given this cuvee’s history, the 2008 should age for 30 or more years. -RP (2013)
93 Points - James Suckling
This shows some dried-fruit and tobacco character with hints of mushrooms. Medium body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Hints of dry tannins. (May 2019)
98 Points - Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiasts
This impressive blend combines 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, aging the whole for 24 months in 100% new French oak. Elements of cedar, sage, dried herb and underbrush meet rich red fruit and chalky tannins, with a dusting of cocoa throughout. Enjoy from 2028–2038.