Winemaker Notes The 2016 Insignia is fresh and focused on entry with expressive cocoa powder, graphite and earthy spices. Elegant and complex with a supple, creamy texture and bold tannins, this latest vintage offers luscious ripe plum and blackberry character with hints of roasted coffee and dark cherry throughout the palate to a long, velvety finish.
Vintage Notes The 2016 Napa Valley growing season began with a mild winter resulting in early bud break for some blocks at the beginning of March. A normal period of bloom and veraison took place in early May and mid-July, respectively. The 2016 growing season was cooler compared to the previous three vintages, allowing for aromas and flavors to develop slowly in the red varieties yielding classic Cabernet Sauvignon from each of our vineyards.
(97-100) Points - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Chocolate-covered cherries, wild blueberries and black raspberries with touches of underbrush, cedar chest and bouquet garni plus a hint of grilled meat. Medium to full-bodied, the palate springs forth with exciting energy, offering loads of red and black fruit layers and compelling herbal sparks, featuring a firm, fine-grained backbone and bags of freshness lifting the finish. -LPB (Dec. 2018)
98 Points, Cellar Selection - Wine Enthusiast
This is a lengthy, powerful blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 3% each of Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Together they coalesce as one seamless, complex experience of black currant, brambly berry and black pepper, with accents of graphite, pencil and cedar. Robust in tannin and youthful energy, it will benefit from aging. -VB (Nov. 2019)
98 Points - James Suckling
Lovely density and intensity with dark berries, blueberries and inky undertones with hints of spice, chocolate and walnuts. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a flavorful finish. The texture and length are fantastic here. Complex. Hints of smoky wood at the end. This needs three to five years more in bottle age. Exciting wine. (May 2019)
95 Points - Wine Spectator
This is laden with dark currant, blackberry and black cherry preserve flavors, infused gently with alder, incense and black tea notes, all carried by a long swath of fine-grained tannins. Hints of warm stone and tobacco gild the finish. Best from 2021 through 2035. -JM (July 2019)
96 Points - Decanter
Made by longtime winemaker Ashley Hepworth, Joseph Phelps 'Insignia' is a blue chip stock in the Napa Valley. The wine - first made in 1974 - was the valley’s first proprietary 'Bordeaux blend'. It comes from non-contiguous estate vineyards, mostly on the valley floor and lower hillsides. Insignia has a certain old fashioned character. The 2016, a bit oaky at first, is also packed with juicy, dense, sweet berry flavours, plus notes of tobacco and graphite. More than many Insignias when they are young, the 2016 already possesses a wonderful thick softness and length. -Karen MacNeil (Oct. 2019)
Blend and Grape Sources 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc from estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards: 29% Las Rocas Vineyard (Stags Leap District), 23% Suscol Vineyard (South Napa), 20% Yountville Vineyard (Oak Knoll District), 18% Barboza Vineyard (Stags Leap District) and 10% Home Ranch Vineyard (St. Helena).
Appellation Napa Valley
Aging/Cooperage 24 months in 100% new French oak from coopers Taransaud, Dargaud Jaegle, Demptos, Marcel Cadet and Sylvain.