1996 Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine
Proprietary Blend - 3L

  • WS 93
  • WA 92
  • ST 92

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WS 93
Wine Spectator - Wine Spectator, January 2007
Fresh with herbal dill and currant aromas this is fresh and concentrated on the palate. Intense with vivid currant anise herb and cedar notes. Ends with a complex aftertaste firm tannins and good structure. The best of... Fresh with herbal dill and currant aromas this is fresh and concentrated on the palate. Intense with vivid currant anise herb and cedar notes. Ends with a complex aftertaste firm tannins and good structure. The best of five bottles.--1996 California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2010. -JL
WA 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, January 2000
...elegant nose of cedar wood fruitcake coffee and black currants. Medium to full-bodied with a firm underpinning of tannin classic black currant flavors and a long finish this effort is impressive but tight and... ...elegant nose of cedar wood fruitcake coffee and black currants. Medium to full-bodied with a firm underpinning of tannin classic black currant flavors and a long finish this effort is impressive but tight and narrowly-constructed. Anticipated maturity: 2001-2020.
ST 92
Stephen Tanzer - Antonio Galloni's Vinous, April 2016
Good dark red. Aromas of dark raspberry, plum, spices, mocha and truffley underbrush suggest a concentrated wine. With a pH of 3.74, this wine shows a bit more warmth than the 1994 but the black cherry, plum and dark... Good dark red. Aromas of dark raspberry, plum, spices, mocha and truffley underbrush suggest a concentrated wine. With a pH of 3.74, this wine shows a bit more warmth than the 1994 but the black cherry, plum and dark chocolate flavors are nicely framed by juicy acidity and firm-edged tannins. Not quite as harmonious as the '94.
Color & Type Red
Varietal Proprietary Blend
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region North Coast
Appellation Napa
Vintage 1996

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.