2008 Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine
Proprietary Blend - 750ML

  • WA 97
  • CG 95
  • JS 95
  • WS 94
  • ST 94
  • WE 93

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WA 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, December 2011
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Insignia is a towering statuesque wine bursting with blackberry jam tar spices leather and licorice. It shows fabulous depth and richness backed up by serious imposing tannins that suggest it... The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Insignia is a towering statuesque wine bursting with blackberry jam tar spices leather and licorice. It shows fabulous depth and richness backed up by serious imposing tannins that suggest it has a long life. Ideally the 2008 should be purchased by those who can be patient; it is not a wine for those seeking immediate gratification. The blend is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038. â_"Antonio Galloni
CG 95
Connoisseurs' Guide - Connoisseur's Guide, December 2011
Once again Insignia takes it accustomed place near the very head of the class and as usual it is one of the most polished and well-balanced Cabernets to be had. That is not to say that it in any way lacks for authority... Once again Insignia takes it accustomed place near the very head of the class and as usual it is one of the most polished and well-balanced Cabernets to be had. That is not to say that it in any way lacks for authority richness or size for it is an intense and impressively filled wine and it vies for top honors in a vintage that has provided more than a few noteworthy wines. It drives home the point that big wines can be wonderfully balanced and while delicious even now it will not reach its peak for a good many years to come.
JS 95
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com, June 2011
What a wonderful wine here. The nose shows a fabulous combination of dark fruits chocolate spices and caramel. The palate is silky textured with lots of ripe yet beautiful fruit and super silky tight tannins This is a... What a wonderful wine here. The nose shows a fabulous combination of dark fruits chocolate spices and caramel. The palate is silky textured with lots of ripe yet beautiful fruit and super silky tight tannins This is a balanced wine with all the potential to age for decades. Made from 89% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot.
WS 94
Wine Spectator - Wine Spectator, November 2011
Dense and chewy this is very tight and closed but the glimpses of fruit offer tight mineral crushed rock graphite dried currant cedar and anise. Full-bodied and way too young to drink now this needs time but should... Dense and chewy this is very tight and closed but the glimpses of fruit offer tight mineral crushed rock graphite dried currant cedar and anise. Full-bodied and way too young to drink now this needs time but should provide years of rewarding drinking. Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot and Merlot. Best from 2014 through 2026. -JL
ST 94
Stephen Tanzer - Antonio Galloni's Vinous, April 2016
Bright full ruby. Aromas of blackberry pie, flowers, mocha and truffley earth, along with a sexy leesy nuance. Juicy and intense; quite closed in on itself in spite of its sweetness. The wine's thickness of dark berry... Bright full ruby. Aromas of blackberry pie, flowers, mocha and truffley earth, along with a sexy leesy nuance. Juicy and intense; quite closed in on itself in spite of its sweetness. The wine's thickness of dark berry fruit is leavened by bright acidity and floral lift. This impressively dense, slowly evolving wine finishes with a powerful spine of toothcoating tannins. Built for a long life in bottle.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast - Wine Enthusiast, December 2011
A glamorous wine rich and complex with lots going on. Lacks perhaps some of the depth of say the '03 and '04 more on a par with the 2007 but still a very fine Insignia. With rich blackberry and cassis flavors wrapped into... A glamorous wine rich and complex with lots going on. Lacks perhaps some of the depth of say the '03 and '04 more on a par with the 2007 but still a very fine Insignia. With rich blackberry and cassis flavors wrapped into thick tannins and fine new oak sweetness it's nowhere ready to drink now. Give it a rest until 2015.
JJB 97
Alex Lallos - JJ Buckley, August 2011
Opaque and deep crimson throughout. Bursting with aromas of blackberry ground coffee beans rich vanilla extract exotic spice and cassis. Exceptionally rich with supple tannins the palate showcases mocha and sweet toasty... Opaque and deep crimson throughout. Bursting with aromas of blackberry ground coffee beans rich vanilla extract exotic spice and cassis. Exceptionally rich with supple tannins the palate showcases mocha and sweet toasty oak. Still a baby at the moment I suspect this should age beautifully for the next 20 years. This is extremely well made and complete in every way as an iconic California cabernet blend should be.
Color & Type Red
Varietal Proprietary Blend
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region North Coast
Appellation Napa
Vintage 2008

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.