Joseph Phelps Insignia 2019
|Region||California, Napa Valley|
The 2019 Insignia opens with heady aromatics of red fruit, crème de cassis, leafy tobacco and delicate dried rose petals. The palate is juicy and dense with expressive layers of blackberry, raspberry, black currant, and dark chocolate. A dynamic wine offering captivating energy, length, complexity and refinement. The 2019 Insignia marks the first vintage to include fruit from the new Joseph Phelps vineyard named El Venadito, located in the Oak Knoll District, just south of the winery’s Yountville Vineyard.
Another beautiful wine from this team, the 2019 Insignia is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon but includes smaller amounts of Merlot and Malbec, brought up all in new barrels, sourced from seven estate vineyards. It has a classic varietal and incredibly complex nose of crème de cassis, freshly sharpened pencils, green tobacco, and damp earth, with a kiss of background sappy spring flowers. Seemingly from a cooler year with its freshness, vibrancy, and herbal, floral character on the nose, it's nevertheless full-bodied and beautifully concentrated on the palate, with ultra-fine tannins, a seamless, layered mouthfeel, and a gorgeous finish. Unquestionably up with the finest vintages of this cuvée, this is legit awesome juice that's going to offer incredible pleasure over the coming 20-25 years. Hats off to winemaker Ashley Hepworth.
The 2019 Insignia is composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. The vineyard sources this year include: 32% Yountville (Oak Knoll District), 23% Banca Dorada (Rutherford), 14% Suscol (South Napa Valley), 14% Home Ranch (St. Helena), 12% Las Rocas (Stags Leap District), 3% Barboza (Stags Leap District) and 2% El Venadito (Oak Knoll District). The wine is aging for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Deep garnet-purple in color, it needs a little swirling to unlock a gorgeous perfume of black cherry compote, stewed plums and blackcurrant pastilles with hints of bay leaves, red roses, underbrush and pencil lead plus a hint of menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers impactful black fruit preserves layers with finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and layered.
Smells ripe and heady on the nose, expressive and seductive. This is rich and bold, it's edging on too much, with lots of wood on show in the slightly heavy texture, liquorice and coffee flavour and fullness in the mouth but there are such alluring and captivating aspects to this wine with striking details of rose, tobacco, blackberry, red berries and dark chocolate shavings on show. I like the fragranced aspects and the energetic acidity that gives lift and a sense of brightness but this is a strong, powerful and muscular wine that will need at least a decade to come around. Given enough time it will be beautiful. Ageing 24 months in 100% new French oak.
The 2019 Insignia is a bold, explosive wine. Sumptuous dark fruit, mocha, leather, sweet spice and tobacco are all amplified in an Insignia endowed with tremendous textural intensity and plenty of soft contours. I imagine the 2019 will age well for years, but it will also drink well with minimal cellaring.
Given two years in new French oak, this vintage blends 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. Brooding black fruit is complemented by classic notions of cigar box, tobacco, iron and clove, with a leather texture that's still got time to unfurl. Dense and chewy tannins provide a powerful imprint of intensity and ripeness matched in toasted oak. Enjoy best from 2029-2039.
A solidly built Cabernet with a very direct persona, as dark currant, warmed fig reduction and blackberry fruit paste are bolted together with licorice root and singed cedar. Features an espresso crema hint on the finish, which keeps this on the dark, muscular side. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Best from 2023 through 2038.