1986 Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine
Proprietary Blend - 750ML

  • WS 92
  • WA 90

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This product is
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WS 92
Wine Spectator - Wine Spectator, December 1996
Distinctive for its ripe wild berry cherry earth and mint flavors. It's complex elegant and well-focused still firm intense and a shade on the tannic side. Given the youthful vitality of the fruit and tannins this can... Distinctive for its ripe wild berry cherry earth and mint flavors. It's complex elegant and well-focused still firm intense and a shade on the tannic side. Given the youthful vitality of the fruit and tannins this can easily age until 2006.--1986 California Cabernet horizontal. (JL)
WA 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, August 1996
The 1986 Insignia a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc is much more forward and developed than the 1986 Backus Vineyard. The exotic sexy fragrance of roasted coffee sweet cedar red and black... The 1986 Insignia a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc is much more forward and developed than the 1986 Backus Vineyard. The exotic sexy fragrance of roasted coffee sweet cedar red and black fruits spices and ginger struck me as vaguely reminiscent of the 1947 Mouton-Rothschild. In the mouth the wine is another animal exhibiting sweet juicy fruit medium to full body and a surprising herbaceousness that is nicely balanced by the wine's lush concentrated fruit high glycerin and overall size. This may be a controversial Cabernet given its exaggerated personality but I loved it! Fully mature it should continue to drink well for another decade. 1986 was the last outstanding vintage for the Joseph Phelps portfolio of Cabernet Sauvignons until the 1991 vintage (although 1990 was good it was not as superb as the vintage's quality would suggest).
Color & Type Red
Varietal Proprietary Blend
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region North Coast
Appellation Napa
Vintage 1986

Label

First produced from the iconic 1974 vintage, Phelps Insignia is the first proprietary Bordeaux-style blend produced in California. Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, each vintage is comprised of the best grapes from Joseph Phelps Vineyards, initially from both grower and estate fruit, and beginning with the 2004 vintage, from entirely estate-grown fruit sources. Grapes from six of the Joseph Phelps estate vineyards go into Insignia: Spring Valley Home Ranch Vineyard in St. Helena, Banca Dorada Vineyard on the Rutherford Bench, Las Rocas and Barboza Vineyards in the Stags Leap District, Yountville Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District and Suscol Vineyard in South Napa Valley.

Winery

Phelps, Joseph

In the late 1960’s, Joseph Phelps, a successful construction company owner from Colorado, came to the Napa Valley to build a winery for Souverain (now Rutherford Hill). Like many others, he fell in love with the region and the industry and in 1974, he completed construction on his own eponymously named Joseph Phelps Winery, just in time to harvest the first vintages of Syrah and Insignia. Four decades later, Phelps Insignia is recognized as one of the world’s great and most highly-rated wines.

Over the years, the goal of becoming 100% estate grown resulted in carefully planned acquisitions of prime vineyards in the Napa Valley. Since 2004, all Phelps wines are made from estate-grown fruit, including Phelps Insignia, the estate labeled Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier, the Oakville single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Backus’, Eisrebe, a dessert wine made from the Scheurebe grape, and Syrah from the Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard.

Joe Phelps also had a life-long love affair with the wines of Burgundy and a desire to craft wines in that style. He found the ideal spot for the perfect combination of climate, soil and location in Freestone, in the Sonoma Coast AVA. In 1999, he began developing 100 acres of vineyards just outside of Freestone and in 2005, construction began on a new winery. Today, 80 acres of Pinot Noir and 20 acres of Chardonnay produce remarkable estate-grown wines bearing the Joseph Phelps name under the Freestone label.