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96 Points - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant scents of Black Forest cake, preserved plums and blueberry pie plus touches of redcurrant jelly, potpourri, clove oil and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has gained weight from its in-barrel offering, boasting rich, decadently perfumed black fruit preserves flavors with a racy backbone and velvety tannins, finishing long and spicy. -LPB, Oct. 2020
97 Points, Cellar Selection - Wine Enthusiast
Gorgeously perfumed, it unfurls wave after wave of cassis, dusty rock and cocoa powder—seasonings that boost secondary characteristics of black and red currant and cherry. With structure and complexity to spare, it should do well over time; enjoy best from 2027–2032. Cellar Selection. -V.B, Best of Year 2020
94 Points - Wine Spectator
Delivers showy fruit, with layered flavors of warmed boysenberry, blackberry and açaí berry paste, framed by a subtle alder hint and backed by warm earth and cast iron details on the finish. Not shy, and well-built for the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2038.” -J.M. (July, 2020)
96 Points - James Suckling
A beautiful, focused wine with a tight center palate of blackberries, blueberries and dark chocolate. Very subtle. Hints of mint and sage, too. Medium to full body and fine, racy tannins. A reserved and very pretty Insignia. Fresh finish. Hard not to drink now, but better in 2022. -Jan. 2020
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.’
The 2017 growing season saw much needed record-breaking winter rainfall which helped replenish groundwater and the vines. The cool, wet start to the season delayed budbreak and bloom compared to the three previous years. The summer and fall months were warm with regular heat spikes to ripen the grapes. Overall, 2017 was reminiscent of the 1997 and 2015 growing seasons. The wines lend to fresh dark black fruit characteristics with ample, refined tannins.