News & Press

News & Press


March 30th, 2021

2018 Napa Cabernet Perfection

2018 Napa Cabernet Perfection

Napa Cabernet Perfection - James Suckling
Weekly tasting report March 22-28, 2021

The cabernets from Joseph Phelps in 2018 are fantastic. They have a finesse and refinement that I have not encountered from here in years. And the wines show solid structure as well. The Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Insignia 2018 is absolutely stunning and highlights the beauty and clarity of the long growing season of 2018. All the Joseph Phelps cabernets were classic quality. They reminded me of some of the great Joseph Phelps wines from the late 1970s.

“The 2018 Insignia reminds me of the 2012 but the 2018 is a little deeper and more sophisticated than the 2012,” said Ashley Hepworth, head winemaker at Joseph Phelps, while we were tasting together on Zoom. “They are really approachable now. They are showing really well.” -JS


2018 Joseph Phelps Insignia
99 Points
- Blackberry and black chocolate with mint, conifer and clove. Sweet tobacco, violets and flowers, too. Some graphite. Cool and complex. Full-bodied with ultra-fine, dusty tannins and a wonderful, extremely long finish. Savory and refined. A classic-styled 2018. This needs time, but is so approachable and gorgeous. One of the best Insignias ever. Alive and changing all the time. Leave this for five or six years, but so wonderful now. Fall 2021 Release

2018 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard
97 Points
- Aromas of mint, dark berries and black olives follow through to a medium to full body with lightly chewy and layered tannins that are long and focused. Lots of black-olive and conifer undertones, yet it remains subtle. Very long. Drink in 2023. Fall 2021 Phelps Preferred Release

2018 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
96 Points
- Very pretty blackberry, blackcurrant, walnut, forest-flower and dark-walnut aromas follow through to a full body with round, juicy tannins that are fine-grained and beautiful. Lovely length and generosity, but reserved at the finish to give it tension. Drink or hold. Available Now



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