1986 Joseph Phelps Insignia

Community Tasting Note


90 Points

Saturday, June 18, 2011 - Stood this bottle up for about 3 weeks prior to serving, and I think it helped. On the nose, a prior reviewer describes this as "minty eucalyptus" and is spot on. I also pick up a bit of secondary Cali cab sweat. On the palate, more of the same with a bit of chalkiness. Very long finish, with a surprising level of tannins. While I wouldn't say this "drinks young", it does drink a lot younger than most '86 Napa cabs. Hard to say where this one goes, but I'll probably try to hold my last bottle for 5-10 years just as an experiment. Not sure it's going to pay off, as I can't tell if this is on the slide or destined to be the next '73 Mayacamas. Drinking well now, particularly if paired with a steak to tame the tannins on the finish. A great example of an ageworthy Napa cab, but without the smoothness/elegance at this point that would warrant a higher score. A poor pairing with G's Mac&Cheese, which seems to minimize any richness on the mid-palate and accentuate a harshness on the finish. Becomes more disjointed the longer it's open. More acidity, more tannins. Fruit depth and elegance does not improve.

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