First produced from the 1974 vintage, Insignia is the first proprietary Bordeaux-style blend produced in California. Each vintage is comprised of the best grapes from Joseph Phelps Vineyards, first from both grower and estate fruit, and beginning with the 2004 vintage, from entirely estate-grown fruit sources. Insignia is a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine crafted from six of the Joseph Phelps estate vineyards: Spring Valley Home Ranch Vineyard in St. Helena, Banca Dorada Vineyard on the Rutherford Bench, Las Rocas and Barboza Vineyards in the Stags Leap District, Yountville Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District and Suscol Vineyard in South Napa Valley.
Forty years after the inaugural vintage, Insignia is recognized as one of the world’s great wines. The 2002 vintage was awarded “Wine of the Year” by Wine Spectator magazine in 2005 and in November 2013, high esteem by critic Robert Parker that in 2014, to mark the winery’s 40th anniversary, he visited the estate for an historic tasting of each Insignia vintage from 1974-2012, awarding the 1991, 1997, and 2002 vintages each a perfect 100 points points – proving that the best California Cabernets can stand the test of time. On his website, Parker reported on the tasting, noting that the event was, ‘one of the most historical vertical tastings I have ever done… I had the privilege of tasting every vintage from 1974 to 2012.’
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot from 100% estate-owned Napa Valley vineyards which break down as follows: * South Napa, 39% (Suscol Vineyard.) * Stags Leap District, 30% (15% Barboza Vineyard.and 15% Las Rocas Vineyard.) * Oak Knoll District, 16% (Yountville Vineyard.) * Rutherford, 11% (Banca Dorada Vineyard.) * St. Helena, 4% (Spring Valley Ranch Vineyards)
Grapes were harvested between September 4 – October 15, 2007 at an average 24.5° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels from coopers Taransaud, Dargaud Jaegle, Nadalie, Demptos, Marcel Cadet and Sylvain.
The darkly pigmented 2007 Insignia is a perfect example of the amazing color this vintage produced. Rich aromatics of mineral, baking spices, dark chocolate, graphite, and opulent plum and blackberry lead to the concentrated and balanced mouthfeel. Silky, well structured tannins, core black fruit and sweet oak notes from our estate vineyards create length and weight that will allow this beautiful wine to age, as well as remain approachable in its youth.
January through March were drier than in previous years. Soils dried out prematurely, and in order to bring moisture to the root zone we began to till early. Bud break arrived early with the warming temperatures that spring brought. Bloom also came early with near perfect weather throughout this period. This ensured good berry set for all varieties. Summer temperatures for the most part were temperate and consistent. Due to the low rainfall during the winter months the vines matured more rapidly, canes lignified earlier and the period from veraison to harvest was shorter than our historical average. 2007cluster weights were between 23% and 45% lower than historical weights, leading to lower yields. As the summer progressed, irrigation strategies and canopy management became key factors in developing fruit quality. Overall fruit was excellent and 2007 is considered one of the best vintages of the past decade.
September 1, 2010