Joseph Phelps Insignia 2009
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Wine EnthusiastThis wine continues a long-standing tradition, showing a mastery of the art of blending. It's made using grapes that are sourced from at least six vineyards scattered from Yountville to St. Helena. Right out of the bottle, it's a soft, smoothly tannic wine that's rich in blackberry jam, black currant, blueberry, raspberry, dark chocolate and spice flavors. The wine, which contains small amounts of Petit Verdot and Malbec, is so powerful, it easily carries the 100% new French oak. Just gorgeous now, and it should develop bottle complexity for at least the next 10 years.
Wine AdvocateThe 2009 Insignia (82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec) is tighter and more restrained, and appears to be going through that inevitable stage when, after a year or two in the bottle, many Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines close down and reveal their huge structure and tannic ferocity. The inky/purple-colored 2009 possesses plenty of creme de cassis, bouquet garni, blackberry, chocolate, vanilla and toast characteristics. It is full-bodied, but the tannins are formidable and the wine seems to be in one of those broodingly backward stages that require patience from potential buyers. There were 10,540 cases produced, so it was a modestly sized vintage, and the wine is slightly lower in alcohol than the 2008.
Wine SpectatorCombines deep, ripe dark berry fruit with crushed rock, cedar and lead pencil notes, and the tannins have a green bitter edge. A step back in richness and complexity for Insignia, this is built for cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Best from 2014 through 2024.
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