Search: (advanced)

External search
Google (images)
Wine Advocate
Wine Spectator

Show more

From this producer
Show all wines
All tasting notes
  Home | All Cellars | Tasting Notes | Reports | UsersHelp | Member Sign In 

 Vintage2006 Label 1 of 148 
ProducerJoseph Phelps (web)
VarietyRed Bordeaux Blend
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationNapa Valley
UPC Code(s)010465709608

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2012 and 2026 (based on 70 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Joseph Phelps Insignia on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 93 pts. and median of 93 pts. in 329 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Francophile1 on 7/29/2015 & rated 95 points: Wow! This wine explodes from the glass and then explodes in the mouth with a 60 second finish. Drinking from a 375 ml bottle with only 30 min in the decanter. While this wine will last for another 20 years, it is incredible now. Unctuous, juicy, sexy, thick, and packed, supremely packed with delicious Napa Valley Bordeaux grape varietals. Still has grippy tannin, but the nobility of this wine powers through the tannin. Delicious! (486 views)
 Tasted by xena on 7/25/2015 & rated 94 points: Terrific with Ribeye and grilled pineapple (561 views)
 Tasted by floridawinedrkr on 7/12/2015 & rated 95 points: The best bottle of this vintage I have had. Purchased at the winery several years ago. Laser sharp on this night with a 3 hour decant. Lots of Blackberry and logan berry flavors, wet oak, cinnamon, espresso & coffee notes. Finish lasted 45+ seconds. Really wonderful bottle. Very complete and well made. (957 views)
 Tasted by jfpwine on 5/13/2015 & rated 94 points: Wow. So much complexity on the nose, very floral, with lots of roses and violet. Very balanced. Good finish. (2360 views)
 Tasted by Bob in NC on 3/14/2015 & rated 95 points: Notes form 3/14/2015: Was 1 of 7 CA Bordeaux blends we had. This was one of everyone's favorite. Very smooth, balance with firm grippy tannins that needs foods. While the wine is excellent now, the tannins need more time (5 to 10?) to resolve. (2538 views)
 Tasted by TastesGoodToMe on 3/14/2015 & rated 93 points: South Charlotte Wine Lovers - California Bordeaux Blends (Bob and Anita's Place on Lake Wylie): Drank alongside an '05 The Maiden. My best comparison is this was the more feminine wine of the two. Excellent. But more about finesse and the smooth finish. Not as big as your typical high end Napa Cab. But an elegant drinking experience. (3211 views)
 Tasted by hackey37 on 3/11/2015 & rated 94 points: The color is inky-garnet, very dense and opaque. The smells are raspberry, blueberry, currants, and menthol. The tastes are black olive, blackberry, spices, cacao, and lead pencil. The tannins are stout and velvety with nice acidity and a long finish. (2939 views)
 Tasted by floridawinedrkr on 2/20/2015 & rated 93 points: Better than the last bottle. We let this decant for 5+ hours. I have found with the Insignias they are usually better the second day. This was pretty good. Still lots of oak throughout that I didn't care for. Good dark fruit. Very dark color and a little heat on the finish initially. Over all a good wine but perhaps over priced at $200. There are much better bottles out there for that price. (3001 views)
 Tasted by bubbachumps on 2/2/2015 & rated 94 points: Consistent with my prior notes. The tannins have become much more tame than prior. (2525 views)
 Tasted by Loren Sonkin on 2/1/2015 & rated 95 points: Robert's 50th (A Tastey Restaurant): The last wine of the night. What a great way to go out. The nose has cassis and some cedar. A bit of coffee grounds. Great lush texture. Just a delicious wine. I was sadly not spitting and at my limit, but I had to have a glass of this and wished for more. Still quite young and will improve a bit I think, but great now. Fruit and texture. Balance. Long finish. (2073 views)
 Tasted by ekirby on 1/4/2015 & rated 90 points: This wine did not impress, perhaps it is in a dumb stage, but the last bottle of Phelps I had was similar. A reticent wine, does not willing share its bounty, one gets the hint that something very good is afoot, but the wine never delivers on the promise. (2525 views)
 Tasted by johnbhamrick on 1/1/2015 & rated 85 points: This bottle simply tasted bad. Lingering sour aftertaste. Whap happened??? (2123 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 12/30/2014 & rated 94 points: Enough of the Montrose already. This wine is singing and brought me back to great plum and black cherry fruit which my palate needed after 11 vintages of Montrose. Great call on Ira's part!!! Winner winner chicken dinner. (2073 views)
 Tasted by Camben on 12/29/2014 & rated 94 points: Sweet fruit up front, very complex and rich. Smooth (1817 views)
 Tasted by CarguyGM on 12/25/2014 & rated 95 points: Decanted for 30 minutes was fantastic , thick with vibrant flavors of nuts and fruits !! Great wine ! Held up to the 2006 Bryant we also drank ! (1717 views)
 Tasted by Loren Sonkin on 12/17/2014 & rated 95 points: Tasting Group Holiday Party (Lee Road): My WOTN. This is drinking quite young but with air it really kicks butt. A sample at the end of the night was even better. Inky purple in color. The nose has cassis, coffee grounds and pencil lead. Lush texture that makes it hard not to guzzle the wine. Tight complex layering. Great balance. Long finish. Hold these a few more years if you can. (2375 views)
 Tasted by johnbhamrick on 12/16/2014 & rated 94 points: Once again a well developed and full bodied wine. Deep dark color, good nose, nice long slow legs, and just a fabulous wine to drink. (1852 views)
 Tasted by SPierson on 12/15/2014 & rated 88 points: Way too young. Drank over two nights and never opened up. Dark red in the glass...nose is too hot...chalky, dusty on the open w/ minimal fruit and no finish. Likely (hopefully) this will be showing better in 3-5 years. (1744 views)
 Tasted by jgkost on 12/13/2014 & rated 92 points: Took about 30 minutes to open up but the wonderful. Red, luscious fruit with decent structure. Nicely executed but not their best effort. (1488 views)
 Tasted by levinml on 12/6/2014 & rated 92 points: May be way early on this one. Obviously serious, high quality wine, but this was so dense my few, scattered taste buds couldn't appreciate what may have been going on in between all the compressed layers. I think this needs three or four years at minimum, but will age a long time. Wait. (1702 views)
 Tasted by SonnyChiba on 12/5/2014 & rated 94 points: Almost black in the glass. Huge bouquet of blueberry, black currant, liqueur, and dark chocolate. Full bodied and extremely rich. Almost port-like. Really good balance and overall delicious wine. Drinks well at this point but will be better in 3-5 years. 94+ (1480 views)
 Tasted by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on 12/5/2014 & rated 95 points: Popped without decant and drank 1.5 hours later. Inky blackness. Big nose. Huge flavor of blackberries and currants. Smooth on the palate and fulfilling. Good, medium tail. Some heat and port-like as one taster described it. Probably not at its best right now, but drinking well enough in any case. I love these wines. (1713 views)
 Tasted by Rita Huckle on 11/29/2014: 1 (1493 views)
 Tasted by fournet on 11/29/2014 & rated 90 points: Too young with tannins a bit overbearing. Suspect it will get better with time. (1506 views)
 Tasted by jeffm_fla on 11/17/2014 & rated 93 points: My favorite for the night at our Napa tasting event, second place for the group as a whole. Firm structure, well integrated flavor. (1955 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
i-WineReview.com, Joseph Phelps Wines (10/31/2010)
(Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
By Tamlyn Currin
JancisRobinson.com (3/17/2010)
(Joseph Phelps, Insignia Napa Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2009, IWC Issue #144
(Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2008, IWC Issue #138
(Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of i-WineReview.com and JancisRobinson.com and Vinous. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Joseph Phelps

Producer website

In the late 60s, Joseph Phelps was running one of the largest construction companies in the U.S. when he won the bid to build Souverain Winery (now Rutherford Hill) located a few miles outside of St. Helena. Enamored with the beautiful Napa Valley and contemplating a career change, in 1973 he bought the 600-acre Connolly cattle ranch in Spring Valley, and began planting vineyards. The winery was completed in 1974 and that same year the first Syrah was made, the first grapes were crushed at the new facility and the first Insignia was produced. It was a period of unparalleled activity, creativity, ingenuity, entrepreneurship and risk-taking and it put Joe Phelps on the map of top Napa Valley wine producers.

Nearly four decades later, the flagship wine, Insignia, is recognized as one of the world’s great wines. Twenty nine of 34 vintages have been rated ninety or more points by various wine publications. From 1990 to 2007, the average score from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate is 94.5 pts., with the lowest score still a fabulous 91. The 2002 vintage was “Wine of the Year” by Wine Spectator Magazine, and the 2007 vintage has been rated 98 points by Robert Parker and 96 points by Wine Spectator Magazine.
Over the years, the goal of becoming 100% estate grown resulted in carefully planned acquisitions of prime vineyards in the Napa Valley. Today, the Phelps estate consists of the Spring Valley Home Ranch outside of St. Helena, Banca Dorada in Rutherford, Las Rocas and Barboza vineyards in Stags Leap, Yountville Vineyard in Oak Knoll, Suscol Vineyard in South Napa and Backus Vineyard in Oakville.

Beginning with the 2009 vintage, estate-grown wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Insignia, Backus (the single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville) and Eisrébe, a dessert wine made from the Scheurebe grape. In addition, a small amount of Syrah is produced from fruit owned by Hyde Vineyards in Los Carneros.

Though the main focus is on Bordeaux varietals, Joe Phelps has had a life-long love affair with the wines of Burgundy and a desire to craft wines in that style. Originally Chardonnay was sourced from St. Helena, later from Yountville and then from Los Carneros. Through the years, however, Joe continued to search for the ideal spot to grow both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and his search ended when the perfect combination of climate, soil and location was found in Freestone, located in the Sonoma Coast AVA, a mere eight miles from the Pacific Ocean. In 1999, 200 acres were acquired and planting began. Today, 80 acres of Pinot Noir and 20 acres of Chardonnay are producing some remarkable wines which are available for tasting at the Freestone Guest Center. Visit Freestone Vineyards to learn more.

2006 Joseph Phelps Insignia

Winemaker: Ashley Hepworth

Producer Website

Red Bordeaux Blend

Read about the grapes used to produce Bordeaux The variety Red Bordeaux Blend in CellarTracker implies any blend using any or all of the five traditional Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. As such, this is used worldwide, whether for wines from Bordeaux, Meritages from California and Canada, some Super-Tuscan wines etc.


Of interest concerning the sources for grapes for this wine:



WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley Wineries and Wine (Napa Valley Vintners) | Article in CellarTracker

Napa Valley

Napa Valley AVA

© 2003-15 CellarTracker! LLC. All rights reserved. "CellarTracker!" is a trademark of CellarTracker! LLC. No part of this website may be used, reproduced or distributed without the prior written permission of CellarTracker! LLC. (Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. DB3) - Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook