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News & Press


February 3rd, 2020

Is 2016 Insignia the next 1997?

Is 2016 Insignia the next 1997?

In Jeb Dunnuck's new Napa Valley wine report, he asks, "Is 2016 Insignia the next 1997?" Decide for yourself after reading his reviews for this wine and other upcoming releases.

2016 Joseph Phelps Insignia, Napa Valley
97 points,
Is the 2016 Insignia the next 1997? Coming mostly from the Stags Leap region, with the rest from the Home Ranch, this deep purple-colored beauty offers a magical bouquet of crème de cassis, fruitcake, forest floor, tobacco leaf, and toasted spices. It shows even more complexity with time in the glass and is a full-bodied, powerful, age worthy example of this cuvée that’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 25+ years or more.

2017 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
90 points,
It has a classic Cabernet nose of blackcurrants, scorched earth, tobacco, and lead pencil as well as a medium-bodied, supple, elegant, pretty style on the palate. Drink it over the coming 10-15 years.

2017 Joseph Phelps Insignia, Napa Valley
(95-97) points,
Not yet bottled, the 2017 Insignia offers both red and black fruits as well as lots of spice box, gravelly earth, and integrated oak. It opens up beautifully with time in the glass, is medium to full-bodied, has beautiful mid-palate depth and concentration, and a great finish. It’s a classic, undeniable success in this challenging vintage.

2016 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley
98+ points,
Looking at the Backus Vineyard, this wine is a tiny production, single vineyard release that’s normally 85% or more Cabernet Sauvignon and small amounts of Malbec and Petite Verdot. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is an incredible wine, and I suspect the finest of the three vintages reviewed here. Gorgeous blackcurrants, graphite, lead pencil, chocolate, and gravelly, earthy minerality all give way to a powerful, concentrated Cabernet that has flawless balance, building tannins, and a huge finish. Count yourself lucky if you have bottles of this in the cellar, as it’s going to offer up tons of pleasure over the coming three decades or more.

2017 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley
(94-96) points,
Not yet bottled, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is rock-solid in the vintage, offering more red and black fruits as well as textbook Cabernet lead pencil, loamy earth, cedar, and leafy herbs. It’s medium to full-bodied, balanced, has ripe tannins, and outstanding length.

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