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Joseph Phelps Insignia 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP95
  • CG95
  • WS94
  • WE94
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Winemaker Notes

The 2002 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2005

Deeply colored, concentrated and layered, with floral, anise, black cherry and graphite aromas, this wine is classically structured with excellent acidity, well-balanced tannins and a mouth-staining, persistent finish.

Blend:
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, and 1% Merlot sourced estate-owned vineyards in Rutherford (30%), South Napa (22%), the St. Helena home ranch (17%), and Stag's Leap District (Barboza Vineyard, 17% and Las Rocas Vineyard, 14%).
Only shipping discounts can be applied to this product, other promotional discounts do not apply.

Critical Acclaim

RP 95
The Wine Advocate

The 2006 Insignia (95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot; 16,000 cases produced) is a superb effort in this vintage. Another 30+ year wine, it boasts a dense plum/purple color as well as abundant notes of licorice, black currants, charcoal, black olives, and graphite. Full-bodied, pure, and rich with moderately high tannins, it represents a California version of a Bordeaux from Pauillac or St.-Julien. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2045.

In case you think the aging curves I have described are unrealistically long, I have the Joseph Phelps regular Cabernets from the mid-seventies as well as the Insignias in my cellar, and those wines are still drinking beautifully at 30+ years of age. Today's wines are better made.
Rating: 95+

CG 95
Connoisseurs' Guide

Already amazingly seductive with wonderfully rich aromas of sweet oak, cocoa and fully expressed fruit making a first-rate introduction, this riveting young wine in no way lets up on the palate and delivers deep, multi-faceted flavors that combine ripeness, sweet oak and very precise fruit in near-perfect proportion. As is often the case with Insignia bottlings, it is so beautifully balanced that it invites early drinking, and, while we do not condemn giving in to its charms, we also would lobby strongly for patience as its best lies years down the line.

WS 94
Wine Spectator

Teasing with its floral, spicy cherry, wild berry and currant aromas, this is full-bodied, firm and structured, tight and focused, offering glimpses of what lies ahead with its complex mix of flavors and tightly wound tannins. Yet its finesse and refinement are apparent on the finish. Needs time. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.

WE 94
Wine Enthusiast

This is so strong and fruity, so oaky, so tannic, it just overwhelms the palate in its extreme youth. Just massive in blackberries, black currants, coffee, cocoa, dried herbs and 100% new, smoky-sweet French oak.

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Joseph Phelps

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

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Joseph Phelps Vineyards, , California
Joseph Phelps
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.

Monterey

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A geographic and climatic anomaly among wine regions, Monterey is a part of the expansive Central Coast AVA and contains five smaller sub-appellations, including the popular Santa Lucia Highlands. Rainfall is extremely low, necessitating the use of irrigation from the Salinas River for successful grape-growing, while harsh Pacific winds and coastal fogs drastically cool and dampen the region in the north.

In the cooler districts of Monterey, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling produce wines with a crowd-pleasing combination of ripe, juicy fruit and crisp acidity. Warmer subzones are home to fleshy, fruit-forward Bordeaux Blends comprised primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Pinot Gris/Grigio

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One grape variety with two very distinct personas, Pinot Gris in France is rich, round, and aromatic, while Pinot Grigio in Italy is simple, crisp, and refreshing. In Italy, Pinot Grigio is grown in the mountainous regions of Trentino, Friuli, and Alto Adige in the northeast. In France it reaches its apex in Alsace. Pinots both “Gris” and “Grigio” are produced successfully in Oregon's Willamette Valley as well as parts of California, and are widely planted throughout central and eastern Europe.

In the Glass

Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity, so full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear, and almond skin. Alsatian styles are aromatic, richly textured and often relatively high in alcohol. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is much more subdued, light, simple, and easy to drink.

Perfect Pairings

Alsace is renowned for its potent food–pork, foie gras, and charcuterie. With its viscous nature, Pinot Gris fits in harmoniously with these heavy hitters. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works better with simple salads, a wide range of seafood, and subtle chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Outside of France and Italy, the decision by the producer whether to label as “Gris” or “Grigio” serves as a strong indicator as to the style of wine in the bottle—the former will typically be a richer, more serious rendition while the latter will be bright, fresh, and fun.

LIT99991_2006 Item# 99991

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