Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of bouquet garni, mint, red and black currants, tobacco leaf and licorice, and a surprisingly intense, full-bodied mouthfeel with more richness and intensity than I would have expected from this vintage. It is also precocious and can be drunk upon release or cellared for 15 or more years.
The 2011 Insignia is impressive, no doubt about it. In this vintage, it is the wine's length and persistence that stand out most. This is a decidedly Old World style of Insignia with less raciness than is customary. Grilled herbs, smoke, dried rose petal, tobacco and cedar are some of the notes that add complexity. Readers should give the 2011 another few years in bottle for the tannins to soften. This is the first vintage of Insignia that incorporates both Cabernet Franc and Malbec.
A balanced, delicious Insignia for early drinking. Aromas of currants, blueberries and licorice follow through to a full to medium body, fine tannins and a clean finish. Yummy. Drink or hold.
Nicely perfumed nose offers scents of currant, plum, tobacco, mocha and dark chocolate. Plush and sweet on the palate... there's plenty of texture and depth here. Dark berry flavors are complicated by subtle tobacco leaf, menthol and dried herb nuances. Finishes plummy and sweet, with big building tannins and lots of sexy oak...
Napa is rising up the wish lists of collectors and, although 2011 is a difficult vintage, Phelps is a fine estate. It's a Bordeaux blend, led by 82% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Deep and rich nose of cloves, pepper, smoke, coffee and black olives. Great complexity and structure with lovely ripeness and a long, fresh finish. -R.B.
Soft, polished and stylish with superb structure and dark chocolatey fruit. Oak dominates and strong tannins are fine grained, but there is a great texture and a an impressive style, which will evolve as it ages. -A.M.
Sumptuous wine with bold supporting tannins and good acidity. Concentrated, with spice and complexity and a long chocolatey finish. Strives to impress and pulls out all the stops. -S.B.
While many struggled with the cooler conditions in 2011, the winemaking team at Joseph Phelps absolutely thrived, achieving remarkable results, combining power, balance and structure in this brilliant Insignia. The wine resonates with deep layers of dark fruits and currants before folding in notes of fresh violets, spices and dusty minerals. This shows incredible depth and concentration, but also offers a wonderful sense of freshness from the underlying acidity, which also provides lift to the wine as it heads into the long supple finish. Today the wine is already showing incredible and it will only continue to evolve for years to come. I absolutely love what the Insignia offers in 2011 and it's hands down one of the best wines I have tasted from this vintage.