Joseph Phelps 2011 Insignia Napa Valley Red Wine 1.5L MAGNUM
96 points Wine Enthusiast
Impeccable elegance characterizes this vintage of the producer’s marquee Bordeaux-style blend, an expert finessing of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 2% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Juicy in exotic black fruit, it stands tall, with silky, towering shoulders of herb, cardamom and clove that will coalesce beautifully over time. *Ranked #72, Top 100 Cellar Selections 2015* (VB) (5/2015)
90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011’s deep ruby/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of bouquet garni, mint, red and black currants, tobacco leaf and licorice, and a surprisingly intense, full-bodied mouthfeel with more richness and intensity than I would have expected from this vintage. It is also precocious and can be drunk upon release or cellared for 15 or more years...the 2011 Insignia is composed of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot and the rest Malbec, Merlot and a dollop of Cabernet Franc, and represents 13,000 cases. It achieved a slightly lower alcohol of 14.1%. (RP) (11/2013)
93 points Vinous
The 2011 Insignia is impressive, no doubt about it. In this vintage, it is the wine's length and persistence that stand out most. This is a decidedly Old World style of Insignia with less raciness than is customary. Grilled herbs, smoke, dried rose petal, tobacco and cedar are some of the notes that add complexity. Readers should give the 2011 another few years in bottle for the tannins to soften. This is the first vintage of Insignia that incorporates both Cabernet Franc and Malbec. This is a very strong set of new and upcoming releases from Joseph Phelps and winemaker Ashley Hepworth. The 2011s are strong, the 2012s capture the personality of the year, while the 2013s are shaping up to be superb. (AG) (9/2014)
92 points James Suckling
A balanced, delicious Insignia for early drinking. Aromas of currants, blueberries and licorice follow through to a full to medium body, fine tannins and a clean finish. Yummy. (5/2014)
Winemaking Data Harvest Dates: October 3 - November 1, 2011.
Blend: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 2% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc from 100% estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards:
• Stags Leap District, 20% Barboza Vineyard and 17% Las Rocas Vineyard
• St. Helena, 21% Home Ranch Vineyard
• Oak Knoll District, 20% Yountville Vineyard • Napa Valley, 13% Suscol Vineyard
• Rutherford, 9% Banca Dorada Vineyard
Aging: 24 months in 100% new French oak from coopers Taransaud, Dargaud Jaegle, Nadalie, Demptos, Marcel Cadet and Sylvain before bottling in February 2014.
Winemaking Notes: Vineyards are carefully monitored throughout the growing season for optimum, even ripening. Blocks remain separate during picking, sorting and fermentation. The 2011 Insignia is layered with aromatics of dark fruit, cardamom, tobacco, Herbs de Provence and graphite on the nose. Fresh and lively this elegant wine boasts bright red cherry, blackberry and espresso throughout the palate with supple tannins.
Growing Season: The 2011 growing season began normally with bud break occurring at the end of March. However, due to cool weather, bloom completed two to three weeks later than normal. By mid-June, preparations were underway for the unusually cool growing season. Vines were forced into competition for water by leaving cover crop untilled, delaying irrigation and cluster thinning. An eleven-day warming trend in mid-September helped push grape maturation. The first Insignia designated fruit block picked in 2011 was Merlot on October 3rd at the Yountville Vineyard, and the final Insignia grape block picked was Cabernet Sauvignon from the Home Ranch Vineyard on November 1st. Despite mid-season rain and cool weather in 2011, blends were carefully selected and the wines are fresh, will be long lived, and no doubt continue to evolve and develop.
Review: (90-93) Points, “Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of bouquet garni, mint, red and black currants, tobacco leaf and licorice, and a surprisingly intense, full-bodied mouthfeel with more richness and intensity than I would have expected for this vintage.”-R.P., Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, Oct. 2013
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