Joseph Phelps Insignia 2018

Joseph Phelps Insignia 2018


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Joseph Phelps
Insignia 2018
  • Vintage : 2018
  • Country : USA
  • Region : California (AVA Napa Valley)
  • Subregion Napa
  • Type : Red
  • Style Deep Full Bodied
  • Format : 75cl
  • Alcohol : 14,5°
  • Grappes : 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot

Experts Score Vintage
JS James Suckling 99 2018
WE Wine Enthusiast 98 2018
RP Robert Parker 97 2018
JD Jeb Dunnuck 97 2018
WS Wine Spectator 94 2018
DCT Decanter 96 2017
VN Vinous (Antonio Galloni) 93 2017
CG Connoisseurs' Guide 96 2016
W&S Wines & Spirits 95 2013
More information on wine critics and ratings

James Suckling (JS) : 99 Points (2018)
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.

Wine Enthusiast (WE) : 98 Points (2018)
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 through out. Enjoy from 2028–2038. Cellar Selection.

Robert Parker (RP) : 97 Points (2018)
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. Rating: 97+

Jeb Dunnuck (JD) : 97 Points (2018)
Very much in the style of the vintage with its pure, concentrated, yet also elegant and focused style, the 2018 Insignia offers up a vivid purple hue to go with lots of red and blue fruits, menthol, tobacco, graphite, and distinct minerality. With an almost Bordeaux-like style, medium to full-bodied richness, present tannins, and a great finish, it's a beautiful, classic Cabernet Sauvignon blend from this team that's going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for two decades or more.Range: 95-97

Wine Spectator (WS) : 94 Points (2018)
This is richly layered, with cassis, crushed plum and blackberry puree flavors moving through slowly but steadily, while warm earth, ganache and black licorice notes follow along. Picks up a tarry edge on the finish as the fruit takes an encore. For fans of the muscular, fruit-driven style. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2036.

Decanter (DCT) : 96 Points (2017)
This has a real sense of freshness and grip. A pure expression of Cabernet with a shot of eucalyptus and menthol, extremely concentrated but with elegance and power. The tannins just grip on to your palate and don't let go leading to a lovely chewy finish. This is great stuff, with a discernibly finessed style that shows a fine tannic balance magnified through the lens of Californian heat and laced through with cassis, espresso and chocolate block. Great structure, this will take a few decades of ageing in its stride. 100% new oak, from five vineyards around Napa Valley, mainly in Stags Leap and Oak Knoll.

Vinous (Antonio Galloni) (VN) : 93 Points (2017)
The 2017 Insignia is quite powerful and dense. Inky dark fruit, leather, spice, menthol, lavender and licorice all race out of the glass. After bottling, the 2017 is quite a bit more shy than it was from barrel. The 2017 was made entirely from pre-fire lots and naturally lacks the opulence the later picks would have added. If opened young, the 2017 will benefit greatly from aeration. In 2017, most of the fruit came from estate vineyards in Stags Leap. Drinking window: 2025 - 2037 Rating : 93+

Connoisseurs' Guide (CG) : 96 Points (2016)
84% Cabernet Sauvignon; 10% Petit Verdot; 3% Malbec; 3% Cabernet Franc. We may well be accused of being monotonous and even a bit biased in the perennial praise that Insignia earns in these pages, but we would remind that we evaluate every wine blind, and, when all is said, tasted and done, Phelps’s flagship bottling is special, very sophisticated stuff and once again claims a place at the very head of the class. It is complex, it is polished and it is extraordinarly deep with an unsurpassed fusion of fruity richness and grace, and if, as usual, it shows the integral tannins of a wine destined to be very long lived, those short on patience and used to savoring young Cabernets cannot fail to find it other than irresistible even now

Wines & Spirits (W&S) : 95 Points (2013)
Insignia has been built as a regional blend since its first vintage in 1974, becoming an estate-grown wine in 2004. It’s based on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in six vineyards, from Suscol in the south to sites in Oak Knoll, Stags Leap and Rutherford, up to Phelps’s Spring Valley Home Ranch in St. Helena. Ashley Hepworth has fine-tuned the style, so Insignia is still a rich wine, but now, especially in 2013, shows the kind of firmness of structure that makes the richness profound. This vintage is fresh and lively, even while it is dense and powerful, as if the power is coming out of the black raspberry fruit as well as the bright, sparkling-fresh mineral tones of the tannins. Delicious now if you give it several hours in a decanter, this is destined to evolve into a classic. (10/2016)

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Joseph Phelps Insignia 2018 Reviewed by James Suckling 16-11-2021 . Score: 5