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 Vintage1988 Label 1 of 135 
TypeRed
ProducerJoseph Phelps (web)
VarietyRed Bordeaux Blend
DesignationInsignia
Vineyardn/a
CountryUSA
RegionCalifornia
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationNapa Valley

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 1998 and 2010 (based on 1 user opinion)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Joseph Phelps Insignia on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 87.5 pts. and median of 88 pts. in 6 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Wine_lvr on 3/28/2015 & rated 92 points: Out of double magnum: Mature red. Nose shows mint, chocolate and pipe tobacco. Great balance, elegant has a clear 'old world' touch to it. Nice sweetness. Maybe a bit short but out of this 3 liter bottle it was a wonderful wine. Now fully mature.

Normal bottles are likely past its prime, so here it was a clear large format bonus. (264 views)
 Tasted by dannyk8232 on 4/26/2011 & rated 80 points: Fail. Dead. (2935 views)
 Tasted by iamandyc on 11/28/2009 & rated 89 points: Red fruits that were still relatively lively. Some bricking. Well aged and fairly well balanced. Some leather on the palate as well. Nothing truly special in and of itself but was a nice test of a 21 year old wine. Probably the vintage is more at fault than the age. (3396 views)
 Tasted by Siggy on 10/13/2007 & rated 88 points: Insignia Vertical Tasting 1974-2004 (WA Frost, St. Paul): Deep and brooding. Nose of smoky black fruit. The palate thinned out a bit. A straightforward, down-the-middle Insignia. (4705 views)
 Tasted by Dave Dalluge on 10/13/2007 & rated 89 points: Thirty Years of Phelps Insignia (1974 through 2004): The nose is very straightforward with red fruit, mushroom, and mineral. The taste is very enjoyable but a bit compact on the palate. Good fruit. Drying tannins. Nice. (4910 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 6/13/1998 & rated 87 points: Insignia Vertical @ Joe C: Mint, herbs, cassis and red fruits on the nose. Nice mouth-feel. Not bad, given the vintage. Short finish. Good. (4177 views)

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.

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.

Insignia

Of interest concerning the sources for grapes for this wine:

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-review/669/Insignia.html
jht

USA

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

California

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

 
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