Joseph Phelps Insignia (bin soiled label) 1976 Front Label
Joseph Phelps Insignia (bin soiled label) 1976 Front Label

Joseph Phelps Insignia (bin soiled label) 1976

  • RP96
750ML / 13.8% ABV
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750ML / 13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Oakville Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A big, rich red, it offers a dense garnet color along with notes of unsmoked cigar tobacco and Asian spices, a full-bodied, deep, concentrated, broad, savory mouthfeel, plenty of sweet red and black fruits, ripe tannin and remarkable freshness as well as delineation. This gorgeous, complex, classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is fully mature, and probably should be consumed over the next 4-5 years.

The 1976 Insignia was nearly perfect when I initially tasted it. An incredible drought in the summer months made 1976 one of the driest years on record, resulting in a tiny crop of thick-skinned, tannic berries with very little juice-to-skin ratio. This was the first vintages in which Joseph Phelps decided to utilize what is one of the great first-growth sites of Napa Valley, the Eisele Vineyard. The final blend was 94% Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga's Eisele Vineyard (now owned by the Bordelais, in particular Chateau Latour) and 6% Merlot from the Stanton Vineyard. The alcohols were 13.8% and 785 cases were produced. The 1976 also enjoyed a longer barrel aging of 15 months in a combination of American and French oak.

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Joseph Phelps

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

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Joseph Phelps Vineyards, California
Joseph Phelps Vineyards  Winery Image

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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MVV262563_1976 Item# 262563

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