Joseph Phelps Insignia (3 Liter Bottle) 1996 Front Label
Joseph Phelps Insignia (3 Liter Bottle) 1996 Front Label

Joseph Phelps Insignia (3 Liter Bottle) 1996

  • WS93
  • RP92
3000ML / 0% ABV
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3000ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This problematical growing season made it necessary to employ a rigorous selection process in the assembly of the final Insignia blend in order to maintain quality. As a result, production is approximately half of the '95 vintage and availability of this wine is extremely limited.

At this stage in its development, the wine displays aromas of ripe black fruit, spice and hints of new oak, along with intense fruit flavors, sweet tannins and a long, textured finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Fresh, with herbal dill and currant aromas, this is fresh and concentrated on the palate. Intense, with vivid currant, anise, herb and cedar notes. Ends with a complex aftertaste, firm tannins and good structure.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1996 Insignia (83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Merlot) exhibits a dark purple color in addition to an elegant nose of cedar wood, fruitcake, coffee, and black currants. Medium to full-bodied, with a firm underpinning of tannin, classic black currant flavors, and a long finish, this effort is impressive, but tight and narrowly-constructed. Anticipated maturity: 2001-2020.
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Joseph Phelps

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

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Joseph Phelps Vineyards, California
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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.

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Napa Valley

Red Wine

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Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.

Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.

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NVSPINGDMG_1996 Item# 125571

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