Joseph Phelps Insignia 1992
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Because of warm summer temperatures during the 1992 growing season, harvest came early and crop levels were high. As part of good vineyard management, and to enhance the quality and flavor of the ripening grapes, our vineyard crew meticulously combed each row, removing immature clusters to increase crop uniformity, and thinning the leaf canopy to enhance berry color. By September, our efforts had paid off as we observed ripe, deeply-pigmented fruit hanging in our Las Rocas and Manley Lane vineyards. Although the harvested grapes contained slightly higher tannins than the previous vintage, the significantly lower acid levels provided superb balance and texture. The finished wine has deep, smoky aromas, lush blackcurrant fruit flavors, and a long,l silky finish. We expect it to age gracefully for many years.
The Wine Advocate - "The 1992 Insignia, the flagship proprietary wine of the Joseph Phelps portfolio, is a 67% Cabernet Sauvignon / 33% Merlot blend. The wine is extraordinary, with an opaque purple color, a big, spicy, licorice, vanillin, smoky, cassis-scented nose, sweet, ripe, massive flavor concentration, and well-integrated acidity and tannin, which make for an unctuous texture and a juicy mouthful of wine. It should drink well for 20+ years. It may be the most opulent and hedonistic Insignia since the debut release in 1974."
Wine Spectator - "Starts with a slight earthiness but then quickly shows a ripe, plush, generous core of complex currant, black cherry, anise, sage and blackberry that's youthful, vibrant and remarkably complex. Aging very gracefully.--'92 California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2012. 4,783 cases made."
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps now grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varietals, Insignia, first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking. View all Joseph Phelps Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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