Joseph Phelps Insignia 1997
|Region||California, Napa Valley|
Wine SpectatorDense, rich and focused, youthful and concentrated, with hints of maturity on the edge of the core currant, mineral and spicy berry flavors. Wonderful vibrancy and intensity for a wine this age, which only bodes well for the future. A classic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.--'97 California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2020. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.
Wine AdvocateJoseph Phelps' flagship wine is their fabulous Insignia, a wine with a tremendous track record back to the debut vintage of 1974. It is produced in significant quantities (18,000-20,000 cases) for a wine of such quality. The prodigious 1997 Insignia (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 3% Petit-Verdot) lives up to its pre-bottling promise. Tasted on three separate occasions, every bottle has hit the bull's eye. The color is a saturated thick-looking blue/purple. The nose offers up explosive aromas of jammy black fruits, licorice, Asian spices, vanillin, and cedar. Full-bodied as well as exceptionally pure and impressively endowed, this blockbuster yet surprisingly elegant wine cuts a brilliant swath across the palate. A seamless effort with beautifully integrated acidity, sweet tannin, and alcohol, it is still an infant, but can be drunk with considerable pleasure. Anticipated maturity: now-2025.
Wine EnthusiastOpens with aromas of black cherry and pencil lead, fruitcake and cookie dough; now it's all one big melange wrapped a bit tight. The balance and immense depth of fruit shine, even in this unevolved state. Standard dark-plum and chocolate notes are rendered with uncommon subtlety here. The finish goes on and on. Needs four to six years, but will last and last.