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 

 Vintage2007 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 2014 and 2028 (based on 81 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Joseph Phelps Insignia on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 94.3 pts. and median of 94 pts. in 273 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by cos82 on 7/18/2015 & rated 93 points: Dark purple plum in color. A glorious nose of blackberry, mint, eucalyptus, rose and cedar. Interesting palate. Initially lots of black fruits, earth and tobacco. No tannin, balanced and long finish. This was popped and poured. Drank about half bottle over 2 hours with small pours with each glass consistently beautiful. With last glass, however, a tannic quality emerged. Not sure what this means.. In sum, a great bottle, but a few more years is suggested. (1151 views)
 Tasted by SteveN100 on 6/28/2015 & rated 94 points: Popped at June cookout. Great bouquet and ripe tannins. Almost there, but could have used another couple years. Still, ridiculous. (2420 views)
 Tasted by BIG BOLD CAB LOVER on 5/31/2015 & rated 97 points: Beautiful wine - turned into a stunning meritage over 2 hours or so - just winder what if I'd let it go another 2 hours or more based on some of these reviews

Opened with alot of fruit on the nose but after decanting the terror started coming in and creating a very elegant blend. Tannins were no longer forward and really served as a nice backdrop. What started out on the blackberry currant side developed into a nice licorice/anise background with mushroom undertones.

Been drinking Insignia since the 1990's and while not a powerhouse in terms of its punch, this is one of the better vintages in terms of restrained elegance.

Wish there was another bottle in the cellar to open 5 years from now. Hopefully I'll be afforded that opportunity some time in the future. (3636 views)
 Tasted by Senso-beak on 5/24/2015 & rated 96 points: OBX dinner, with filet mignon, a smooth superb offering with excellent structure. Notes of anise, creosote, licorice, cedar, mint, black cherry, blackberry. Decanted and enjoyed over 4 hours. excellent. (3444 views)
 Tasted by jshufelt on 5/23/2015 & rated 92 points: Decanted for 2.5 hours before service; while it was drinkable at that point, I think 6-8 hours would have been better. On the nose, initially some port-like reductive notes that quickly blew off to reveal a mix of crushed currants, damp forest, and a faint hint of smoky oak. On the palate, straight ahead Napa cab, with more currants, a bit of mid-palate sweetness, and some herbal/vegetal complexity waiting to show itself with more cellar time. The tannins are neither harsh nor dominant, but they're there, and I think another 5+ years will yield significant upside. (3221 views)
 Tasted by webbaker on 4/17/2015 & rated 99 points: In honor of Joseph Phelps. Decanted about 8 hours. Deep dark fruit flavors, fully integrated tannins, nice aromatic notes, eucalyptus. Everything you could ask for from a napa cab. Bravo! (4296 views)
 Tasted by KarrieS on 4/4/2015 & rated 93 points: Nice tasting! (3922 views)
 Tasted by snowstrm on 2/23/2015 & rated 95 points: Tasted from a bottle in my seller using Coravin.

Color: Very very dark purple - almost black. A beautiful violet near the edge is very notable when swirling the wine in the glass. Great clarity on the edge. Lots of legs noted on the sides of glass.

Aroma: Incredible vibrant dark cherry and plum fruit with a hint of spice along with a definite sense of alcohol. A definitively big, but expressive wine.

Initial Palate: Mouth-filling tannins the moment the wine hits the mouth, but really softening up in the back of the mouth. Very dark fruit initially becomes brighter and more red on the back and on the long finish. The finish is not nearly as long as the phenomenal 2002 vintage which just went on and on for minutes. Still, this is a rich and decadent wine.

Subsequent tastes: The wine really changed quickly (to my surprise and delight) with time and swirling in glass (over a 10 to 20 minute period). Tannins softened and wine began to become round and quite elegant (but still big). More and more cherry with less plum and blackcurrant. Fruit now evident from beginning to end, becoming more complex.

Overall impression: This is already a great sexy wine and with aging it should only evolve and get better. I did not pair with food, but there is no doubt that would also help soften the tannins and bring out the luscious fruit flavors. (5023 views)
 Tasted by IGN WINESNOB on 2/1/2015 & rated 91 points: Not as presentable as last time I had it. OK finish. Either an off bottle or I was off. Group concurred. Decent, but boy this has been my favorite in the past. (4275 views)
 Tasted by blaine on 1/18/2015: Young (4318 views)
 Tasted by cliffkol on 1/14/2015 & rated 93 points: Dark, meaty red color. Viscous, thick. Dark red fruits, slight cassis. Mouth filling tannins. Still very young. Complex and layered. Finish goes on and on. Delicious. Needs 1 hour decant. (Doris-too tannic) (4022 views)
 Tasted by SonnyChiba on 12/25/2014 & rated 97 points: Still one of my favorite wines and seems to be moving along nicely. Last time trying was 2011. Loaded with black fruits, and developed some nice spice to it. Still has firm tannins and ready to go for a lot longer. (4075 views)
 Tasted by mwilley69 on 12/24/2014 & rated 93 points: Very nice example of Insignia, but might benefit from more age. Pours with an inky purple-black color. Decanted for an hour. Nose of blackberry and similar on palate with subtle vanilla. Finishes with stronger alcohol than expected. Medium-long finish. (2608 views)
 Tasted by ptelgenh on 12/24/2014 & rated 97 points: Wow, the 2007 Insignia is singing right now. Christmas Eve with prime rib. Decanted for two hours. Ripe black fruits. Good spread and balance. Finishes with medium tannins. Pleasant is an understatement. (3078 views)
 Tasted by IGN WINESNOB on 11/28/2014 & rated 93 points: Opened nicely. Real good. Not as presentable as last time I had it. But special wine. Great finish. (3560 views)
 Tasted by gew71walsh on 11/20/2014 & rated 93 points: Deep purple color. Drank with only 30 minute prior opening-- could have used more. Wonderfully complex wine that I think can use some more time. I used to love young Insignias, but as I have begun to let them age, I think my palate is becoming accustomed to the complexities and balance of their later years. This needs at least another two or three years in cellar. (3811 views)
 Tasted by AllRed on 11/9/2014 & rated 94 points: Second Sunday Group: 2007 California Cabs/blends (R&D's): Aromas of blue and black fruit and vanilla. Shows a little hot at first, then black cherries and florals. Flavors of chocolate, cassis, black fruit and violets. Subtle caramel note on the finish. Structured, but the tannins are very fine and slightly sweet. Long finish. 94+ pts.

My #2, Domino's #4
Group #5, 61 pts (3690 views)
 Tasted by dase13 on 10/28/2014 & rated 96 points: PNP: Color of dark purple red. Strong scents of blackberry and dark fruit. Tastes prominently of blackberry and dark berry fruits, with nice bold (but not overwhelming) tannins. This tastes like a young and assertive powerhouse wine.
After 2hr decant: Color of dark purple red. Scents of blackberry and dark fruit are still prominent, and have only barely mellowed. Tastes prominently of blackberry and dark berry fruits, with nice bold (but not overwhelming) tannins. Now clearly displaying taste characteristics of a young vintage of a top notch Napa Valley cab blend. (4137 views)
 Tasted by iamandyc on 10/22/2014 & rated 92 points: Drank after Shafer HS as a birthday premium wine experience. This did not live up to my memory of this wine from the release party or current expectations. Clearly not ready. 6 hour decant and still tight as a drum, dark, earthy with strong graphite and tobacco notes, especially on the finish. When first opened the nose was gorgeous and then closed up tight as a drum. Clearly a wine with big potential if the fruit can reappear someday. (3975 views)
 Tasted by jedwilson on 10/5/2014 & rated 90 points: After the rave review Parker gave this wine a few years ago, on top of it's being of the 2007 Napa vintage, I went out and purchased several bottles 4 years ago. Have cellared ever since, anticipating the day I opened one. However, upon uncorking and decanting in glass about 30 minutes, I was disappointed. While quite good, the wine did not live up to a 97-100 point billing. Predominately graphite with still sharp tannins that contributed to a bit of a bitterness in the mouth as well. After sitting in bottle 24 hours, it did open some and improve. However, at this time, I would not rate this higher than a 90-91. Hoping the remaining bottles I have will continue to improve with more aging and that this wine will ultimately live up to its original billing. (4065 views)
 Tasted by webbaker on 10/1/2014 & rated 97 points: Multiple tastings with consistent notes, though my ratings seem to be all over the place. Dark, luscious fruit flavors. Really improved after 24 hours in the decanter. This could use more cellar time, although the tannins seemed fully integrated even now. One of my favorite wines in a fantastic vintage. (3871 views)
 Tasted by ewsds on 9/29/2014 & rated 94 points: PNP and delicious right out of the bottle. Still very dark in color and fruit profile, the rough edges have settled down considerably, and this is in a great place right now. Rich, deep dark and savory fruits with enough structure to keep it lively. Great mid-palate and finish. Bravo. (3786 views)
 Tasted by Sunocoblue on 8/6/2014 & rated 95 points: This is a true blessing! Amazing stuff! Really opened up after an hour. Extremely well rounded!! Wish I had more! More time would make it even better! (4831 views)
 Tasted by Merky_Waters on 7/20/2014 & rated 92 points: not ready but enjoyable. if you open now it demands a few solid hours decant. the longer the better.

velvety is an overused term, but this wine earns it.
dense blackberry, chocolate, and espresso, but this is far from a fruit bomb. right now the mineral and savory notes dominate the palate. graphite, tar, sanguine.

I left 1/4 of the bottle with the cork in overnight. day two the wine is especially pleasant. still lots of tannin and structure but the fruit is more expressive while none of the palate lost any of its luster from the night before.

this was a gift, but given the price of this bottle, whether you have only one in your cellar or a whole case, I'd give it another year at minimum. you can drink this now and still enjoy it but WOW is it going to be better in a few years! Patience. (4711 views)
 Tasted by cliffkol on 7/16/2014 & rated 91 points: Deep flavors of blackberry, plum, cassis, graphite. Tannins are still very hard, tight, mouth-filling. Needs more time in the bottle. A bit of ... cork?...moldy notes, kept this from a higher rating. This was my first of 8 bottles. Will re-visit later in the year. (4714 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (3/21/2013)
(Joseph Phelps, Insignia Napa Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Linda Murphy
JancisRobinson.com (12/8/2010)
(Joseph Phelps, Insignia Napa Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.
i-WineReview.com, Joseph Phelps Wines (10/31/2010)
(Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2010, IWC Issue #150
(Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Napa Valley) 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 Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (9/9/2012)
(Joseph Phelps Insignia) Very dark red violet color; ripe berry, black fruit, violets nose; tart black fruit, berry, tar palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish  91 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of JancisRobinson.com and i-WineReview.com and Vinous and RJonWine.com. (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.

2007 Joseph Phelps Insignia

Winemaker: Ashley Hepworth

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