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 Vintage1983 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 1987 and 2007 (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 90 pts. and median of 89 pts. in 8 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Nuromri on 3/20/2013 & rated 94 points: Transparent ruby. Bit of Madeira on an otherwise rich and complex nose. Focused with gorgeous acidity, fruit and length. Another marvelous mature insignia! (2434 views)
 Tasted by DavidDay on 2/6/2012 & rated 89 points: This wine was relly impressive for its age, still good color,, and fruit on the nose and palate, still some tanins left. Pretty much how feel about this wine depends on how you react to eucalyptus arom and flavor in wine, because it is a definite component. (3194 views)
 Tasted by Loren Sonkin on 2/26/2011 & rated 89 points: A Bunch of Wines on a Saturday Afternoon: Some liked this more than I. Perhaps in another setting, but I did really like this wine. Ruby/brown/purple in color. The nose has dried currants and some floral notes. Maybe a dried flower quality. On the palate, kirsch with some heat. Showing some age but certainly drinking well Nice texture. Blind, I thought it was late 90's. Impressive for its age. (4288 views)
 Tasted by ksmith on 1/28/2011 & rated 92 points: Dark ruby, some water at the edge. Drinking well, still some tannin left, berries and an impression of sweetness, without tasting sugary. (3777 views)
 Tasted by Siggy on 10/13/2007 & rated 86 points: Insignia Vertical Tasting 1974-2004 (WA Frost, St. Paul): Strong VA on the nose. A bit odd, showing cherry syrup flavors. More acidic than the others. (3266 views)
 Tasted by Dave Dalluge on 10/13/2007 & rated 89 points: Thirty Years of Phelps Insignia (1974 through 2004): Awesome nose featuring dark fruit and mushroom. On the palate this felt plush with a sweet dark fruit profile. The finish was drying and shorter than most of the other wines poured. (5507 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
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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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