Joseph Phelps Insignia 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The 2002 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2005
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot from 100% estate-owned Napa Valley vineyards.
The 2008 Insignia boasts aromatic layers of dark roasted coffee and graphite. The seductive mouth-feel has excellent length, intensely ripe black fruit, minerality and creaminess that tie together seamlessly on the palate.
The 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."
James Suckling - "What a wonderful wine here. The nose shows a fabulous combination of dak 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."
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. Cab¬ernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Best from 2014 through 2026."
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."
International Wine Cellar - "Full medium ruby. Black fruits, minerals, licorice, tar, menthol and sweet oak on the nose. Sweet and creamy on entry, then quite penetrating... and rather powerful Insignia with the structure to require, and reward, considerable aging.
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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 grated 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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4.5 }div>4.7 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 7
- 4 Stars: 0
- 3 Stars: 1
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8 ratings, 1 with reviewskip rosskam - Huntingdon Valley, PA51/14/2012Cristian Rico - Alhambra, CA56/4/2011fabi - San Francisco, CA54/4/2011skang1962 - Monterey Park, CA51/22/2014
32/8/2013Adequate, lots of other more tasteful choices especially at this price level.510/9/2012David Mahagnoul - Duluth, MN59/22/2012uyen nguyen - Higganum, CT51/5/2012Related ProductsDeep, maroon red in color. The aromas are of dark, ripe red berries, and on the palate, the wine has ...The wines at Chateau Montelena are often described as having classic "old world" structure with ripe California fruit, the 2011 ...This Cabernet Sauvignon is composed primarily of grapes grown on Keenan's Spring Mountain District Estate. The blend was assembled just ...
- Earth & Spicy
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: