2003 Insignia

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Publication
The Wine Advocate
Author
Robert Parker
Volume
207
Date
June 2013
Award
97 Points
Review

Joseph Phelps has been an iconic producer of great Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for over three decades. That fact jumped out at me when I looked at the 2003 Insignia (30th Anniversary), and I remember that all - with good reason. The 2003 a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 3% Malbec, aged 24 months in 100% new French oak, is a stunner. Velvety-textured, full-bodied, and opulent with abundant notes of crème de cassis, licorice, incense, flowers and subtle background oak. This rich, impeccably pure, well-balanced Cabernet is just about everything you would want in a world-class red. Drinking well already, it should continue to provide immense pleasure for another 20-25 years. Keep in mind that I once predicted that their 1974 Insignia (the debut vintage) would not last past ten years. I gave it a great review and told readers to drink it up. Well, it's still drinking well at age 39! The 2003 is a staggeringly great Insignia that is performing better now than it did early on - always a sign of great winemaking. (Original score when released in 2006: 94 points)