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Joseph Phelps Insignia (375ML half-bottle) 2007

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP98
  • WS96
  • CG96
  • TP96
  • WE94
  • W&S91
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Winemaker Notes

The darkly pigmented 2007 Insignia is a perfect example of the amazing color this vintage produced. Rich aromatics of mineral, baking spices, dark chocolate, graphite, and opulent plum and blackberry lead to the concentrated and balanced mouthfeel. Silky, well structured tannins, core black fruit and sweet oak notes from our estate vineyards create length and weight that will allow this beautiful wine to age, as well as remain approachable in its youth.

Critical Acclaim

RP 98
The Wine Advocate

The 2007 Insignia (a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot) looks to be one of the greatest wines yet produced at this historic winery. Beautiful aromas of creme de cassis and flowers jump from the glass of this dense purple-colored effort. Sweet oak is present, but it is pushed to the background by the wine’s extravagant wealth of fruit and full-bodied power. This is finesse and flavor authority put into a classic Napa Valley Cabernet with a seamless integration of all its component parts. Already complex and approachable, it should evolve for three decades or more, but who can resist it now? It is a staggering, complex expression of Napa viticulture. Anticipated maturity: now-2030. Another great success for Phelps, the 2007 and 2008 Insignias may be the best back-to-back vintages they have produced since 1995 and 1994. The 2008 has some tannins to resolve whereas the 2007 has already assimilated them.

WS 96
Wine Spectator

Firm, intense and concentrated, massive yet well-proportioned, with a dense, focused core of graphite, dried currant, blackberry, black tea, forest floor and blueberry flavors. Full-blown, finishing with rich, layered tannins that beg for cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2013 through 2025.

CG 96
Connoisseurs' Guide

This year's Insignia builds on past success and is as always a sophisticated and exceptionally deep wine. Its extraordinary marriage of layered richness and finesse places it among the year's very best, and, while fit with plenty of young Cabernet tannin, it is even now a wine of real polish that seems to show a little more with each sip. It is a wine for collecting and saving to special occasions, and it will last if well-cellared for a decade or more.

TP 96
Tasting Panel

Saturated dark ruby! Ripe but reticent aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, bitter chocolate oak, licorice and mocha are very subtle and complex. Wonderfully pliant and balanced wine, with plush purple fruit and violet flavors displaying a smooth grain and superb depth. Spreads out to saturate the middle palate and builds slowly and inexorably on the aftertaste. This fully ripe, complete wine finishes with stylish tannins and outstanding length. There may still be more fireworks ahead for this beauty.

WE 94
Wine Enthusiast

You have to count this as another great Insignia, dry and complex and ageworthy, although the tannins are fierce now and it may lack just a bit of the glamor of say, the 2004 or 2001. It's certainly a big wine that floods the mouth with blackberry, black current, cassis and new oak flavors. The tannins and acids make it aloof, resistant, tough. It wants time in the cellar. Best after 2013. Production was a hefty 13,500 cases.

W&S 91
Wine & Spirits

Phelps' top red is a blend of cabernet sauvignon (88%), merlot and petit verdot, all grown at estate vineyards. Most of the fruit comes from the southern end of Napa Valley - Suscol, a relatively cool site in South Napa, along with Stags Leap adn Oak Knoll. That cool tone comes across in red currant flavors, in the quiet presence of a substantial wine. It's sleek with dark tanning that feels youthful and austere, hinting at a Christmas spice that predicts what holiday celebrations might be in store tend years down the line.

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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.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance...

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Chenin Blanc

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines...

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is also widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen,” and to a lesser extent in California.

In the Glass

Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

Sommelier Secret

There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

JHAINSIGNIA_2007 Item# 106937

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