Joseph Phelps Insignia
2004 / 750 ml.
- SP Wine Spectator
- WE Wine Enthusiast
- OT Other Review Service
- RP Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
- ST Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
- Gold Premier Gold - Best Value*
- Plat Premier Platinum - Our Highest Recommendation
- * as rated by our staff
97 pts. Wine Enthusiast: February, 2008
Tasted in October, 2007, the wine was mute, offering little aromatically except for teasing notes of blackberries and oak. That shyness extended to the taste, where strong, hard tannins provide an almost impenetrable coat of armor to what’s inside. But right down the middle of the palate is a deep, intensely powerful stream of perfectly ripened cassis that’s all the proof you need of ageability. This is a magnificently structured young wine, reminiscent of a fine young Pauillac. Best after 2012, and should have another decade after that, at least.
94–96 pts. Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate: December, 2006
The soft, opulent 2004 Insignia (a 10,000-case blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec) is already seductive and lush. Offering abundant quantities of cassis, incense, graphite, plums, blackberries, and black currants, it will be hard to resist young, but should age effortlessly for two decades or more.
94 pts. Wine Spectator: October 15, 2007
Tight and complex, with a deep, potent core of ripe currant, herb, sage and dusty berry fruit, shaded by light toasty, cedary oak. Deftly balanced, intense and concentrated, this is young and closed in now, yet you can taste the depth and richness. Tannic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Best from 2010 through 2020.
93+ pts. Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar: May/Jun 2007
Bright ruby-red. Complex nose melds cassis, black cherry, lead pencil and cedar. Sweet and fat but with a firm structure and very good vinosity. There’s a sappy quality to the currant, cedar and chocolate flavors. Boasts the density of the vintage’s best examples but, in comparison to the Backus, the tannins hit the palate a bit earlier. The very long finish hints at cedar and graphite. I’d put this aside for a couple of years.
92–95 pts. Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar: May/Jun 2006
Good medium ruby color. Black raspberry, minerals, cocoa and coffee on the nose. Sweet, dense and penetrating; ripe but not at all over the top. The dark berry flavors are complicated by chocolate and minerals. A very lush wine with lovely vibrancy. Finishes with sweet tannins that spread out to saturate the entire palate. Looks like another very strong vintage for this winery’s flagship red wine.
91 pts. Wine & Spirits: December 1, 2007
This is the first vintage of Insignia to come entirely from estate-grown fruit, from vineyards in St. Helena, Stags Leap, Yountville and Rutherford, as well as a small portion from Oakville. Phelps crafted the ripe fruit of 2004 into a luxury wine, something you might order at one of the new top-end restaurants in Las Vegas. It’s all about lovely richness, generous and dense with nothing out of place. Think to sweet cherries and Spanish hot chocolate. Ready to enjoy.