2018 Joseph Phelps Vineyards – Insignia Red Estate Grown Napa Valley
2018 Joseph Phelps Vineyards – Insignia Red Estate Grown Napa Valley The 2018 Insignia opens with beautifully perfumed floral, dark fruit, anise and cigar box aromatics. A wine of depth, elegance and finesse, the palate is fresh and focused with creamy texture and layers of blackberry, mocha and black cherry. The seamless tannin structure and balance culminate in an uplifting, lengthy finish.
VINTAGE NOTES: The 2018 growing season in Napa Valley was marked by cool, mild weather. The cooler than normal spring delayed budbreak, bloom and veraison compared to the previous five year average. The mild weather patterns in August and September allowed for excellent overall phenological ripening and development of a complex aroma and flavor profile in the finished wines. Outstanding flavor development and color were key indicators of this exceptional vintage.
BLEND AND GRAPE SOURCES: 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc from 100% estate grown vineyards: 30% Las Rocas Vineyard (Stags Leap District), 18% Yountville Vineyard (Oak Knoll District), 18% Suscol Vineyard (Napa Valley), 14% Home Ranch Vineyard (St. Helena), 13% Banca Dorada Vineyard (Rutherford), and 7% Barboza Vineyard (Stags Leap District).
98 Wine Enthusiast: This impressive blend combines 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, aging the whole for 24 months in 100% new French oak. Elements of cedar, sage, dried herb and underbrush meet rich red fruit and chalky tannins, with a dusting of cocoa throughout. Enjoy from 2028–2038. Cellar Selection. -VB, Dec. 2021
97 Wine Spectator: Top 100 Wines of 2021 #42 Blackberry and black chocolate with mint, conifer and clove. Sweet tobacco, violets and flowers, too. Some graphite. Cool and complex. Full-bodied with ultra-fine, dusty tannins and a wonderful, extremely long finish. Savory and refined. A classic-styled 2018. This needs time, but is so approachable and gorgeous. One of the best Insignias ever. Alive and changing all the time. Leave this for five or six years, but so wonderful now. (March, 2021)
96 Decanter: This shows the excellence of the 2018 vintage in Napa made by seasoned winemaker Ashley Hepworth who, this year, celebrates 23 years at Joseph Phelps. The wine opens with a seductive, fruity and generous nose followed by a mass of concentrated blackberry flavours edged with creamy coffee and caramel tones. Instantly mouthwatering then there comes a kick of power with spice and black pepper surrounding the tongues and cheeks… this is a fine example of Cabernet with freshness, poise and power. -GH, Sept. 2021
“The story of Insignia is a reflection of my grandfather’s character. He was a pioneer and an original who didn’t want to do what had already been done. He saw an opportunity to create something very special. With Insignia, he created California’s first proprietary red Bordeaux-style blend.”
– Elizabeth Neuman, Joe’s Granddaughter –