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2018 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia

After purchasing the 600-acre Connolly cattle ranch in St. Helena in 1973, contractor Joseph Phelps set out to establish his identity planting vineyards in the Napa Valley landscape He was inspired by the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wines from Bordeaux’s Left Bank. By 1974, Joe Phelps introduced California’s first proprietary and single vineyard blend named Insignia. Throughout its history Insignia has been awarded four perfect 100 point scores by the Wine Advocate.

Sourced from all 100% Napa Valley estate vineyards with the best lots chosen for the Insignia designation. Aged for 24 months in 100% new French Oak barrels. This is another stellar effort from the team at Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Intensely opaque, this is a brooding and extremely well constructed wine. The nose reveals spring floral aromas and freshly cut cedar that open to a luxurious mouth-feel of pure, concentrated black fruits. Deep within the sophisticated core are complex elements of earth, pencil shavings and roasted coffee. This wine is gracious and seductive at the same time. The texture is velvety and plush, interwoven with finely grained tannins. The finish is long and memorable. Joseph Phelps Vineyards continues to raise the bar for other Napa wineries to follow.

By W Peter Hoyne