News & Press

News & Press


January 28th, 2021

Napa 2018 - A Great Vintage

Napa Valley 2018 - A Great Vintage
by Jeb Dunnuck

Unquestionably, Napa has a beautiful vintage on its hands with 2018.

2018 Joseph Phelps Insignia, Napa Valley
(95-97) Points
- Very much in the style of the vintage with its pure, concentrated, yet also elegant and focused style, the 2018 Insignia offers up a vivid purple hue to go with lots of red and blue fruits, menthol, tobacco, graphite, and distinct minerality. With an almost Bordeaux-like style, medium to full-bodied richness, present tannins, and a great finish, it's a beautiful, classic Cabernet Sauvignon blend from this team that's going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for two decades or more. Fall 2021 Release.

2018 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley
(95-97)+ points
- Just an incredibly pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard reveals a deep purple hue as well as gorgeous crème de cassis fruit interwoven with notes of camphor, tobacco leaf, graphite, and charcoal. These carry to a full-bodied, powerful 2018 with a dense, concentrated mid-palate, loads of ripe tannins, and the focused, tight, serious yet also incredibly pure style of the vintage front and center. It's not going to be for those looking for instant gratification, but it will be a magical Cabernet Sauvignon that will live for 30-40 years or more. Fall 2021 Phelps Preferred Member Release.

2018 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
92 points
- The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley shows the vintage nicely and has a classic, balanced, medium to full-bodied style that offers textbook Cabernet Sauvignon notes of crème de cassis, smoke tobacco, damp earth, and chocolate. Medium to full-bodied and nicely concentrated, this is a young, relatively unevolved, yet beautifully balanced 2018 that will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for 10-15 years.

2017 Joseph Phelps Insignia, Napa Valley
96 Points
- Tasted out of bottle, the 2017 Insignia is beautiful stuff that excels in the vintage. Revealing a dense purple color as well as stunning notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco, and earth, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a silky, seamless texture, building tannins, and a great finish. It has the more linear, elegant style of the vintage, yet it’s balanced, has ample concentration, and is just a gorgeous wine that will evolve for 30 years or more.

2017 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley
96+ points
- More pure crème de cassis, graphite, crushed rocks, smoked tobacco, and violet notes emerge from the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard, and if the Insignia is the Chateau Margaux of the valley, this is a more Pauillac, Château Latour-like effort that brings incredible power, richness, and minerality. Dense purple-hued, full-bodied, and structured, it nevertheless holds onto the silky, elegant style of the vintage beautifully. It's certainly enjoyable today in a youthful sort of way, but it should hit prime time with another 5-7 years of bottle age and evolve for 25-30 years or more. Sold Out Fall 2020 Phelps Preferred Member Release


SHOP 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2017 Insignia