Joseph Phelps Insignia 2015
Joseph Phelps Insignia is one of the most sought after Cabernet-based reds made in America. Founded in 1972, Joseph Phelps Vineyards is an independent, estate-based winery located outside of St. Helena. Perched on a knoll in Spring Valley, the graceful redwood winery overlooks vineyard-studded hills, the town of St. Helena and the Mayacamas Mountains to the west. After years of studying the complex relationship between wine quality and place, and understanding the importance of 'terroir', Phelps has developed estate-owned vineyards in the premiere growing regions of Stag's Leap, Rutherford, Oakville, Oak Knoll and the eastern foothills of Napa, as well as in Sonoma.
This is the 42nd vintage of Insignia produced. The 2015 final blend consisted of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec from estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards: 21% Las Rocas Vineyard (Stags Leap District), 20% Home Ranch Vineyard (St. Helena), 19% Yountville Vineyard (Oak Knoll District) 15% Suscol Vineyard (South Napa Valley), 15% Barboza Vineyard (Stags Leap District) and 10% Banca Dorada Vineyard (Rutherford).
|Region||California, Napa Valley|
Wine AdvocateThe 2015 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine is blended of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with stunning black and red plums, cassis and mulberries scents with loads of redcurrant sparks and compelling wafts of lilacs, pencil shavings, black olives and tilled soil plus a hint of bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with red and black currant fireworks plus some exciting mineral nuances coming through, framed by firm, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing very long and beautifully layered. 12,400 cases produced.
Wine EnthusiastThis vintage of the perennial knockout is exceptional-a concentrated blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. Pencil shavings, red currant and red plum are complemented by hints of crushed rock and cocoa, with persistent acidity maintaining balance. Like so many of its forebears, this is a wine well worth cellaring; enjoy 2025-2035.
Jeb DunnuckThe 2015 Insignia is a fleshy, flamboyant vintage for this wine and reminds me of the 1997. Tons of dark fruits, tobacco, cedar, and dried flower notes all give way to a full-bodied, seamless 2015 that has remarkable purity and elegance, yet still shows the vintage's sexy style. Drink it any time over the coming two to three decades.
James SucklingThe subtlety and brightness to this one. Blackcurrants, fresh mint and sage undertones. Linear and very racy with fantastic blackberries, crush stones and lead pencil. Love the finish. This is a wine that needs three to four years of bottle age.
VinousAmple and perfumed, with tons of richness, the 2015 Insignia has a lot to offer. Sweet tobacco, menthol, licorice, plum, dried herbs and licorice add aromatic nuance to this decidedly extroverted, flamboyant wine. Even all of the wine's richness can't fully cover some rough edges, especially in the tannins, and a feel of stress that runs through the wine. It will be interesting to see if things smooth out in time, as there are elements of real contrast in the 2015. In the end, though, that is not entirely surprising given the challenges of the growing season. In 2015, Insignia does not contain Merlot, which also contributes to its feel relative to recent vintages.
Wine SpectatorThis red offers lots of spice, cedar, gravel and lead pencil flavors, with the woodiness overshadowing the trim fruit. A Bordeaux-style version that begs for cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Best from 2022 through 2032.