2008 Joseph Phelps InsigniaCabernet Sauvignon from United States
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"Dark bright crimson. Big and brawny, almost leathery. I think I might guess Syrah blind. Savoury and yet with more obvious fruit than the 2008. Alcohol fairly well managed. Bu...
- 97 Antonio Galloni - Vinous
- 95 James Suckling - Jamessuckling.com
- 95 Robert Parker - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
- 95 Connoisseurs Guide to Wine
- 94 Wine Spectator
- 93+ Stephen Tanzer - Vinous Media
- 93 Wine Enthusiast
97 Antonio Galloni - Vinous
"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." (12/11)
95 James Suckling - Jamessuckling.com
"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." (06/11)
95 Robert Parker - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2008 Insignia, a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot that achieved 14.7% natural alcohol, is one of the more abundant vintages as there were 16,650 cases produced. Aged 24 months in new French oak, all from estate vineyards in Rutherford, St. Helena, Stags Leap and Oak Knoll, 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." (10/13)
95 Connoisseurs Guide to Wine
"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." (12/11)
94 Wine Spectator
"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. 16,650 cases made. -JL" (11/11)
93+ Stephen Tanzer - Vinous Media
"(just bottled): Full medium ruby. Black fruits, minerals, licorice, tar, menthol and sweet oak on the nose. Sweet and creamy on entry, then quite penetrating and tight in the mid-palate, showing a medicinal reserve for the vintage. A backward and rather powerful Insignia with the structure to require, and reward, considerable aging. This was a good quantity year for this flagship bottling, with about 16,000 cases produced." (06/11)
93 Wine Enthusiast
"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. - SH" (12/11)
"Dark bright crimson. Big and brawny, almost leathery. I think I might guess Syrah blind. Savoury and yet with more obvious fruit than the 2008. Alcohol fairly well managed. But a bit grainy, those tannins. Slightly inky finish. Drink from 2015 to 2035." (10/13) - 16.5+ out of 20 Points, Jancis Robinson, Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages.
"In 1973, Joe Phelps bought a 600-acre Connolly cattle ranch in Spring Valley, just outside of St. Helena, and began planting vineyards and building a winery. The winery construction was completed in 1974 and that same year the first grapes were crushed at the new facility and the first vintage of Insignia was produced."
"Insignia is the first proprietary Bordeaux-style blend produced in California. Each vintage is comprised of the best grapes from Joseph Phelps Vineyards, first from both grower and estate fruit, and beginning with the 2004 vintage, from entirely estate-grown fruit sources. Insignia is a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine crafted from six of the Joseph Phelps estate vineyards: Spring Valley 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
"In the late 60s, Joseph Phelps was running one of the largest construction companies in the U.S. when he won the bid to build Souverain Winery (now Rutherford Hill) located a few miles outside of St. Helena. Enamored with the beautiful Napa Valley and contemplating a career change, in 1973 he bought the 600-acre Connolly cattle ranch in Spring Valley, and began planting vineyards. The winery was completed in 1974 and that same year the first Syrah was made, the first grapes were crushed at the new facility and the first Insignia was produced. It was a period of unparalleled activity, creativity, ingenuity, entrepreneurship and risk-taking and it put Joe Phelps on the map of top Napa Valley wine producers."
"Four decades later, the flagship wine, Insignia, is recognized as one of the world's great wines. Thirty-two of thirty-seven vintages have been rated ninety or more points by various wine publications. The 2002 vintage was awarded "Wine of the Year" by Wine Spectator Magazine. Over the years, the goal of becoming 100% estate grown resulted in carefully planned acquisitions of prime vineyards in the Napa Valley. Today, the Phelps estate consists of the Spring Valley Home Ranch outside of St. Helena, Banca Dorada in Rutherford, Las Rocas and Barboza vineyards in Stags Leap, Yountville Vineyard in Oak Knoll, Suscol Vineyard in South Napa, Backus Vineyard in Oakville and Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard in Carneros."
"Beginning with the 2009 vintage, estate-grown wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Insignia, Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard (the single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville) and Eisrebe, a dessert wine made from the Scheurebe grape. In addition, Syrah is produced from the Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard in Carneros."
"Though the main focus is on Bordeaux varietals, Joe Phelps has had a life-long love affair with the wines of Burgundy and a desire to craft wines in that style. Originally Chardonnay was sourced from St. Helena, later from Yountville and then from Carneros. Through the years, however, Joe continued to search for the ideal spot to grow both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and his search ended when the perfect combination of climate, soil and location was found in Freestone, located in the Sonoma Coast AVA, a mere five miles from the Pacific Ocean. In 1999, Joseph Phelps Vineyards began developing 100 acres of vineyards just outside of Freestone. In 2005, construction began on a new winery which was completed in time for the 2007 harvest. Today, 80 acres of Pinot Noir and 20 acres of Chardonnay produce remarkable estate-grown wines bearing the Joseph Phelps name." - Winery
97 - Antonio Galloni - Vinous
95 - James Suckling - Jamessuckling.com
95 - Robert Parker - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
95 - Connoisseurs Guide to Wine
94 - Wine Spectator
93+ - Stephen Tanzer - Vinous Media
93 - Wine Enthusiast
|Taste||currant, blackberry, cherry, bell pepper, olive, asparagus, spice, ginger, oak and vanilla|
|Nose||currant, blackberry, cherry, cedar and cigar box|