2011 Joseph Phelps Insignia

$ 175.00


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In the late 60's Joseph Phelps was running a construction company and won a contract to build a winery for Souverain near St. Helena. He fell in love with the Napa Valley and left construction and bought a cattle ranch and began planting vines. The first harvest was in 1973 and the wine was made at neighboring wineries. The Joseph Phelps facilities were finished in time for the 74 harvest which was the first for his flagship Insignia.

Joe continued to add estate properties in an effort to fully manage the vineyards. While his love for Burgundy kept his quest for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay hot, he sourced grapes from Napa, Carneros and the Sonoma Coast before finally purchasing property in the Freestone area.

Insignia is the first proprietary Bordeaux-style blend produced in California. Each vintage is comprised of the best grapes from Joseph Phelps Vineyards, first from both grower and estate fruit, and beginning with the 2004 vintage, from entirely estate-grown fruit sources. Insignia is a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine crafted from six of the Joseph Phelps estate vineyards: Spring Valley Home Ranch Vineyard in St. Helena, Banca Dorada Vineyard on the Rutherford Bench, Las Rocas and Barboza Vineyards in the Stags Leap District, Yountville Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District and Suscol Vineyard in South Napa Valley.

Forty years after the inaugural vintage, Insignia is recognized as one of the world's great wines. The 2002 vintage was awarded "Wine of the Year" by Wine Spectator magazine in 2005 and in November 2013, Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate awarded three perfect 100 point scores to the 1991, 1997 and 2002 vintages of Insignia in his Historical Tasting of Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia (1974-2012) report.

Joseph Phelps Winery is now run by his son Bill, who has overseen the growth of their holdings and the increasing quality of the wines they produce. He has also instituted biodynamic practices in the vineyards and moved the company toward being fully green.

The 2011 Insignia was just released and has already gotten early scores of 93-95 by Anthony Galloni who says "The 2011 Insignia is showing beautifully today. The cool vintage has given the 2011 distinctively European leanings in both the flavors and structure. At the same time, there is tons of energy and pure vibrancy in the glass".

Robert Parker has given a 90-93 noting "Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of bouquet garni, mint, red and black currants, tobacco leaf and licorice, and a surprisingly intense, full-bodied mouthfeel with more richness and intensity than I would have expected from this vintage. It is also precocious and can be drunk upon release or cellared for 15 or more years."

At 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 2% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc from 100% estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards. The 2011 Insignia is layered with aromatics of dark fruit, cardamom, tobacco, Herbs de Provence and graphite on the nose. Fresh and lively this elegant wine boasts bright red cherry, blackberry and espresso throughout the palate with supple tannins.



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Bottles are in perfect condition.