2014 Joseph Phelps Insignia Proprietary Red Blend

Year: 2014
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 97+
Vinous Media: 97
Connoisseurs' Guide: 96
James Suckling: 97
Jeb Dunnuck: 96--Wine Enthusiast: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$199.95

2017 WINE ENTHUSIAST TOP 100 CELLAR SELECTIONS: #13

"Rich and juicy, with layers of blackberry, subtle herb and spice, cedary oak and gravelly earth, accented by shades of tobacco and cigar box. Maintains a consistent weight and range of flavors through the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Drink now through 2032. 14,500 cases made. –JL " (WS)

"Composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc coming from six vineyards and reared for 24 months in 100% new French oak, the 2014 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of crushed blackberries and fresh blackcurrants with touches of cigar box, sandalwood, dried lavender, beef drippings and mocha plus a waft of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied and incredibly elegant and fine in the mouth, the lively fruit is well structured by grainy tannins and seamless acid, finishing long and earthy. 14,500 cases were made." (WA)

"The 2014 Insignia has turned out beautifully. Finely sculpted, nuanced and classic in structure, the 2014 is built on a core of energy and brightness. There is a level of purity and delineation in the flavors that is remarkable. Bright red cherry, lavender, rose petal and graphite add to the wine's sculpted personality. The 2014 is not an obvious or especially opulent Insignia, but rather a wine that makes its case with its impeccable balance. A closing flourish of bright, floral notes adds the final shades of nuance." (VM)

"Insignia has been a remarkably consistent performer over the years and always manages to find a prominent place at the head of the class, and its high standing is affirmed once again with this outstanding version from 2014. This wine is both rich and remarkably refined with a great sense of depth, and its forceful themes of currants and black cherries are framed with beautifully matched creamy oak and deft touches of sweet spice. As with past efforts, it is uncannily potent and polished at one and the same time, and the one small caveat to its enthusiastic endorsement is that, if involving now, it is years away from reaching its full potential and should be hidden away and its manifold charms ignored until reaching its tenth anniversary. Reviewed: December 2017" (CG)

"The blackberry, dark-chocolate and walnut aromas are persuasive. Full body, a dense and fruity center palate and beautiful depth and intensity. The tannin texture is exceptional. Great wine. Drink in 2020 and onwards."(JS)

"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Insignia checks in as 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc and was brought up all in new oak. This beauty comes from six estate vineyards and offers a gorgeous bouquet of black raspberries, cassis, Asian spice and white chocolate. With full-bodied richness, a beautiful, opulent, yet balanced texture, sweet tannin, and a great finish, it's a gorgeous 2014 that's already hard to resist, yet will cruise for two to three decades in the cellar." (JD)

"This fine vintage of Insignia combines 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. Soft, supple and seamless, it offers rich but balanced cassis and milk chocolate flavors, with supportive and complementary oak. It should do well in the cellar and will be best from 2024–2034." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Winemaking Data:
Vineyards were carefully monitored throughout the growing season for optimum, even ripening, affording significant focus to Insignia designated blocks. Grapes were held separate during picking, sorting and fermentation.

Winemaker Notes:
The 2014 Insignia opens with expressive blackberry, cocoa powder, Bergamot and floral aromatics. Fresh and focused with concentrated black fruit, mocha, cardamom and Madagascar vanilla notes. Opulent and rich with supple tannin structure and balance.

Vintage Notes:
The 2014 Napa Valley growing season began with mild winter temperatures and dry conditions until February. Spring rains brought much needed moisture to the soil and filled our vineyard reservoirs. Bud break occurred three to four weeks earlier than 2013 with a long period between bud break and bloom. Frost was of no issue and the February and March rains provided for optimum vine growth. Consistent temperatures during the summer growing months with very few heat spikes created ideal ripening conditions for an early harvest. At the onset of harvest, the flavors, acidity and tannins were farther along in their development than the two previous years. Grapes achieved phenomenal fruit characteristics early and their maturation occurred at a steady, even pace. Consistency in the blocks and intense flavors at harvest were key characteristics to 2014.

Blend and Grape Sources:
87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc from 100% estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards: Stags Leap District (19% Las Rocas & 17% Barboza Vineyards), Napa Valley (20% Suscol Vineyard), Rutherford (19% Banca Dorada Vineyard), Oak Knoll District (13% Yountville Vineyard) and St. Helena (12% Home Ranch Vineyard).