Joseph Phelps Insignia 2001
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
With complex aromas of black cherry, plum, chocolate, currant and toasty oak, the wine displays layers of flavor and richness that disguise its power and longevity. Beautifully crafted and balanced, Insignia reflects a new level of quality from both the vineyards and the growing regions.
"A triumph. Aged nearly two years in all-new French oak, this massive wine stuns with its superb balance. Manages the elusive challenge of reining in hugely ripe black currant, cherry and oak flavors and sweet tannins while keeping the palate impression soft and alluring, almost feminine. Just gorgeous right out of the bottle, but should develop effortlessly through the decade and beyond."
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The Wine Advocate - "The sensational, prodigious 2001 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine (89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec) has never performed better. Still extremely youthful with a dense purple color as well as a beautiful bouquet of cedar, charcoal, incense, creme de cassis and black cherry jam, fabulous intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel and a skyscraper-like texture, it is a Napa classic that is still very youthful and belies its age of ten years. Like its stablemate, it should age impeccably for 35 or more years. Kudos to Joseph Phelps Vineyards!"
Wine Enthusiast - "A triumph. Aged nearly two years in all-new French oak, this massive wine stuns with its superb balance. Manages the elusive challenge of reining in hugely ripe black currant, cherry and oak flavors and sweet tannins while keeping the palate impression soft and alluring, almost feminine. Just gorgeous right out of the bottle, but should develop effortlessly through the decade and beyond."
Wine & Spirits - "This is a great vintage of Insignia, which means it's a great Napa cabernet that will last for decades. The balance is amazing, incorporating beautiful red fruit deepening to black cherry and darker berry, a lot of alcohol and a lot of oak holding it structured and strong. The texture is flawless, with tannins adding richness and earthy notes of black Stags Leap District soil. Those tannins seamlessly support the sweet blend of cabernet with a touch of petite verdot (8 percent) and malbec (3) extending the clean berry flavors long after each sip."
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated bright ruby. Wild aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, currant, game, espresso and licorice, with a liqueur-like sweetness. Then fat, broad and sweet, with impressively deep flavors of black raspberry, minerals and dark chocolate. Lush and large-scaled, but impressively well-balanced. The tannins are buried by fruit and mineral flavors on the very long finish."
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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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