Joseph Phelps Insignia 2002
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Wine Style Guide
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
Wine Spectator's #1 Wine of 2005!
The 2002 Insignia is full of black cherry jam and allspice aromas, with luscious notes of boysenberry, ripe plums, toasted oak and tobacco. The exceptionally elegant mouthfeel coats the palate with layer after layer of tannin, followed by a lengthy, textured finish containing sweet oak notes and a hint of blackberry.
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 7% Petite Verdot and 1% Malbec primarily from estate-owned vineyards in Stag's Leap and Rutherford, with additional fruit coming from independent growers.
"...This beauty is more extroverted than the 2001...
"A triumph... Just gorgeous right out of the bottle, but should develop effortlessly through the decade and beyond."
"A rich, polished, seductive style... powerful, yet elegant and deftly balanced, finishing with a long, succulent aftertaste..."
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"Rich flavors fan out, the way you hope for, coating the palate with layers of currant, fresh earth, mineral, cedar, tobacco, mocha, black licorice and espresso. The tannins are firm and the structure built for a longer haul. Very much in its infancy still at age 10, it finds that unusual bridge between dense Napa fruit and a Bordeaux build. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec."
"The 2002 Insignia (a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec) is performing even better than it did post-bottling. A cross Napa County blend of some of their finest vineyard sources, it offers a super-sweet nose of creme de cassis, charcoal, incense, cedar and forest floor, full body and silky tannins. It is one of the few Napa Cabernet Sauvignon blends that is world-class, capable of 30+ years of cellaring, and made in abundant quantities (between 8,000-15,000 cases). I remember tasting the 1974 Insignia in the late 1970's and stating that it would need to be drunk in its first 5-6 years of life. Wrong. That wine, which is now 38 years of age, is still a beauty!"
The Wine Advocate
"Ruby-red. Sexy aromas of black raspberry, cedar, coffee, tobacco and bitter chocolate. Lush and smooth on entry, then dense and juicy in the middle, with intense, layered, sharply delineated dark berry and dark chocolate flavors saturating the entire palate. A powerful wine that is already quite expressive. Builds impressively on the back half, showing superb extract and a sweet finishing flavor of dark chocolate. This is consistently one of California 's very few great cabernet-based wines that is not from a single vineyard. Williams ranks this '02 with the winery's top recent vintages: 2001, 1999, 1997, 1994 and 1991."
International Wine Cellar
"A luscious vintage of Insignia, this '02 has the sleek feel of fine Napa Valley cabernet. There's fragrant red berry and forest-floor character at the center of the wine, then blacker currant flavors and tannin softened by luxurious oak in the end. Touches of super-ripeness add to the richness without diminishing the wine's freshness."
Wine & Spirits
"This celebrated wine is not mind-blowing right now. It's dry, oaky, tannic and soft. There's a wealth of cassis and moo shu pork flavors, and huge new oak. Yet it holds itself back, teasing but withdrawing into its tannic cloak. Collectors, be reassured it’s worth stashing."
Learn About Joseph Phelps Map It
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...
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Learn About Napa Valley
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...
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Learn About Cabernet Sauvignon
(cab-uhr-NAY sow-veeh-yawn) King of Red Many refer to Cabernet Sauvignon as the king of red grapes. Perhaps that title is due to its ability to grow worldwide in a number of climates, or to the fact that it produces wine with such character yet such diversity. Either way, this grape is responsible, as a whole or a partner, for some of the greatest wines in the world. In Bordeaux,...
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