1996 Insignia

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Varietal
Proprietary Bordeaux Blend
Blend and Grape Sources
83% Cabernet Sauvignon, primarily estate-owned from the Las Rocas Vineyard in the Stags Leap District and Banca Dorada on the Rutherford Bench; 17% estate-owned Merlot from our Las Rocas and Carneros vineyards.
Harvest Dates
Sep. 19 - Oct.4, 1996
Winemaking Data
Grapes were harvested from September 19, - October 4, 1996 at an average 24.8° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 26 months in 100% new French oak barrels before being bottled in January, 1999.
Winemaker Notes
The 1996 vintage presented a number of challenges to Napa Valley vintners, including an untimely weather system in mid-May which dumped four inches of rain in a seven-day period. Blooming grape clusters suffered significant damage, with subsequent reductions in crop yields. With the onset of ripening near the end of July, the valley experienced temperatures of 95 degrees-plus for ten consecutive days. The vines responded by reducing the rate of photosynthesis in order to preserve water, as well as by shutting down enzyme activity responsible for the development of flavor and color. As the heat subsided, sugar levels rose, but flavor and color maturity were delayed. Finally, September gave us ideal weather conditions, with foggy mornings and mild temperatures reducing the rate of sugar accumulation while flavors and aromas continued to develop greater concentration. This problematical growing season made it necessary to employ a rigorous selection process in the assembly of the final Insignia blend in order to maintain quality. As a result, production is approximately half of the '95 vintage and availability of this wine is extremely limited. At this stage in its development, the wine displays aromas of ripe black fruit, spice and hints of new oak, along with intense fruit flavors, sweet tannins and a long, textured finish.