"Rich and full-bodied, but exhibiting the lift of a brighter red. The dark berry flavors give this an elegant mouthfeel and ease the tannic strength. Tempting now but worth cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2032. -J.L." (WS)
"The 2013 Insignia (their 40th vintage) is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, and the rest Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This wine is aged 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels, and the production can vary from just over 10,000 cases to nearly 20,000 cases in a very abundant vintage. There were 12,300 cases produced in 2013, and this vintage of Insignia is certainly going to turn out to be one of the great ones. The wine offers a stunning inky blue/purple color, a gorgeous nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite, new saddle leather and barrique. The wine has fabulous concentration, a full-bodied, multi-layered mouthfeel, and tremendous finish with moderate tannin. It’s interesting to note that the Phelps winemaking staff had been gradually reducing the amount of Merlot in this wine over recent vintages. The 2013 should hit its peak in 5-7 years and last for 35-50." (WA)
"(this wine was bottled at the beginning of February and will not be released until September; from an earlier harvest than 2012, featuring higher tannin levels): Black fruits and violet on the nose, complemented by spicecake and nutty oak. Boasts outstanding purity and density of fruit but the wine's superb sweetness is nicely controlled by its sheer juicy concentration and spice character. Conveys great inner-mouth tension owing to its firm acidity and strong underlying minerality. A terrific early showing considering the recent bottling, with a high-pitched floral element that contributes to the wine's weightless impression. The tannins are beautifully integrated with the fruit but it's hard to imagine that this wine won't shut down at some point. The long, rising finish spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate. Winemaker Ashley Hepworth noted that it was warmer on the home ranch in 2013 than in 2012 but not everywhere elsewhere in Napa Valley??. may e more closed than the 12." (VM)
"If its first aromas are a little reluctant when first poured, there is no such hesitance as the nose opens over time and reveals deep, rich, layered notes of red and black currants, hints of olives and cola and background notes of creamy, slightly caramelly oak. The wine is certainly on the full side in palate weight and its supple, almost decadently open impressions on the palate could be taken for slight excess. But it is never weighty or overdone at any point and, indeed, is impeccably balanced both in its underlying acidity and in the way that its not unsubstantial tannins are well-suited to the overall depth and continuity on display from first to last. Like its predecessors, it might seem to encourage drinking up in its early years, but we would strongly caution against that siren lure and, instead, suggest a six to ten year wait in the cellar while its full potential is realized.
Reviewed: December 2016" (CG)
"Extravagant aromas of crushed blackberries, mint, eucalyptus and flint. Full body, round and velvety textured. Rich and flavorful finish. Lusciousness with form. Reserved palate. Very attractive now but better in 2020." (JS)
Blend: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc from 100% estate-grown
Napa Valley vineyards: Stags Leap District (28% Las Rocas Vineyard and 11% Barboza Vineyard), Napa Valley (22% Suscol Vineyard), Rutherford (16% Banca Dorada Vineyard), Oak Knoll District (12% Yountville Vineyard) and St. Helena (11% Home Ranch Vineyard).
24 months in 100% new French oak from coopers Taransaud, Dargaud Jaegle, Nadalie, Demptos, Marcel Cadet and Sylvain before bottling in January 2016.
Vineyards were carefully monitored throughout the growing season for optimum, even ripening; keeping close attention on Insignia designated blocks. Grapes were held separate during picking, sorting and fermentation. First produced from the 1974 vintage, 2013 Insignia marks the 40th vintage of our flagship Napa Valley wine. Deeply pigmented, the 2013 Insignia opens with heady blackberry and plum aromatics laced with baking spices, cardamom and espresso. Focused and fresh, this exceptionally concentrated wine showcases elegant tannin structure and a silky mouthfeel layered with dark fruit, sweet vanilla bean, cracked black pepper and bittersweet chocolate.
The 2013 growing season proved to be an excellent year in Napa Valley. It was slightly warmer than 2012, resulting in an overall earlier growing season. Lower than normal rainfall paired with moderate spring weather brought with it early bud break and bloom. Sunny skies throughout the summer months led to early veraison and harvest. Warm daytime temperatures followed by cool nights prior to harvest produced evenly ripened fruit with ideal hang time. There is great purity of fruit in the 2013 wines, good structure and overall an excellent winegrowers vintage. The first Insignia fruit was harvested from our Home Ranch in St. Helena on September 13th and the last from our Banca Dorada Vineyard in Rutherford on October 15th.