Another beautiful wine from this team, the 2019 Insignia is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon but includes smaller amounts of Merlot and Malbec, brought up all in new barrels, sourced from seven estate vineyards. It has a classic varietal and incredibly complex nose of crème de cassis, freshly sharpened pencils, green tobacco, and damp earth, with a kiss of background sappy spring flowers. Seemingly from a cooler year with its freshness, vibrancy, and herbal, floral character on the nose, it’s nevertheless full-bodied and beautifully concentrated on the palate, with ultra-fine tannins, a seamless, layered mouthfeel, and a gorgeous finish. Unquestionably up with the finest vintages of this cuvée, this is legit awesome juice that’s going to offer incredible pleasure over the coming 20–25 years. Hats off to winemaker Ashley Hepworth. (Jeb Dunnuck)
(Sunday, December 18, 2022)
A very aromatic Insignia with pencil-shaving and graphite highlights to the dark fruit and blackberries. Full-bodied, yet tensioned and vertical, with very fine tannins that run deep and layered in the wine. Needs time to come together, but fantastic tension and structure. Try after 2027. (James Suckling)
The 2019 Insignia is a bold, explosive wine. Sumptuous dark fruit, mocha, leather, sweet spice and tobacco are all amplified in an Insignia endowed with tremendous textural intensity and plenty of soft contours. I imagine the 2019 will age well for years, but it will also drink well with minimal cellaring. (Antonio Galloni)
(4th May 2023)
More elegant and refined than the Napa Cab, the 2019 Insignia features restrained cedar and vanilla notes (despite spending two years in 100% new French oak) and delicate herbal shadings accenting cassis and black cherry fruit. Full-bodied, velvety and somewhat open-knit on the palate, it turns plush and long on the finish, adding a touch of warmth. Production this year is approximately 17,000 cases, reflecting the increased volume coming from recently replanted vineyards. It’s remarkable what a good job they continue to do with this bottling year after year, without compromising on quality. (Joe Czerwinski)
Given two years in new French oak, this vintage blends 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. Brooding black fruit is complemented by classic notions of cigar box, tobacco, iron and clove, with a leather texture that’s still got time to unfurl. Dense and chewy tannins provide a powerful imprint of intensity and ripeness matched in toasted oak. Enjoy best from 2029–2039. (Virginie Boone)
(Nov 15, 2022)
A solidly built Cabernet with a very direct persona, as dark currant, warmed fig reduction and blackberry fruit paste are bolted together with licorice root and singed cedar. Features an espresso crema hint on the finish, which keeps this on the dark, muscular side. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Best from 2023 through 2038. 17,000 cases made. (James Molesworth)
View more wines from California
When it comes to US wine production, California is King. California wines account for almost 90% of all wines produced in the United States each year, and is home to the most celebrated vineyards and producers in the country. California is probably best known for its world-famous Cabernets and Chardonnays, many of which hail from its two most-acclaimed AVAs, Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Other prominent grapes used in California wines include Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Zinfandel (which California made popular).
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The United States now ranks fourth in the world in wine production behind, France, Italy, and Spain. While about 90% of that wine is produced in California, other states like Oregon, New York, and Washington are establishing themselves as prime spots for wine production, as well. Just about any variety of wine can be found in production somewhere in the United States.