99 Points, James Suckling: "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. 40% Stags Leap AVA. 87% cabernet sauvignon 8% petit verdot 3% malbec and 2% cabernet franc. Leave this for five or six years but so wonderful now."
97+ Points, Wine Advocate: "The 2018 Insignia is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon 8% Petit Verdot 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. The vineyard sources this year include: 30% Las Rocas (Stags Leap District)18% Yountville (Oak Knoll District) 13% Banca Dorada (Rutherford) 18% Suscol (South Napa Valley) 14% Home Ranch (St. Helena) 12% Las Rocas (Stags Leap District) 7% Barboza (Stags Leap District). It was aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Deep garnet-purple colored it comes storming out of the glass with powerful notes of blackcurrant cordial stewed black plums and boysenberries plus hints of cedar chest graphite menthol and wet slate with a fragrant waft of clove oil. The medium to full-bodied palate already demonstrates remarkable balance at this youthful stage featuring a firm backbone of fine-grained tannins and bold freshness to support the tightly wound crunchy black fruits finishing long and spicy. 17000 cases were made."
Winery: "With the release of the 1974 Insignia in the spring of 1978, Joseph Phelps Vineyards became the first California winery to produce a blend of the traditional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grape varieties of Bordeaux under a proprietary label. Considered innovative at the time, the Insignia name was selected to represent the finest available production in each vintage year, and became the first proprietary wine of California to place blending above either varietal or vineyard designation as a determinant of quality. It would not be followed until a decade later by the second such wine, Opus One, and Insignia has remained the benchmark of this category for over a quarter century.
Insignia is an opulent wine of concentration, complexity and structure, with a superb balance of finely tuned acidity and dense, velvety tannins. Cassis, liquorice and spice are abundant on the palate, with notes of eucalyptus and earth. The finish is sweet, elegant and extended."
||84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc
||24 months in 100% new French oak
||Napa Valley, California
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