x
  • Country ranking ?

    153
  • Producer ranking ?

    8
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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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

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The Story

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.’

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Wine Information

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.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Tasted out of bottle, the 2017 Insignia is beautiful stuff that excels in the vintage. Revealing a dense purple color as well as stunning notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco, and earth, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a silky, seamless texture, building tannins, and a great finish. It has the more linear, elegant style of the vintage, yet it’s balanced, has ample concentration, and is just a gorgeous wine that will evolve for 30 years or more.

  • 96p

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.

  • 96p

A barrel sample, the 2017 Insignia is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, to be aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, it bursts from the glass with bold scents of baked black plums, crème de cassis and fruit cake with hints of espresso, tapenade, hoisin and potpourri. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-filling black berry preserves and loads of earthy sparks, framed by chewy tannins, finishing with loads of freshness. Very promising! 7,500 cases were made (about half the normal production).

  • 95p
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Information

Origin

Napa, Napa Valley

Inside Information

BLEND AND GRAPE SOURCES 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc from estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards: 46% Las Rocas Vineyard (Stags Leap District), 22% Barboza Vineyard (Stags Leap District), 13% Suscol Vineyard (South Napa), 10% Yountville Vineyard (Oak Knoll District) and 9% Home Ranch Vineyard (St. Helena).

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Highlights

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