2017 Phelps Insignia (Napa Valley)

Napa Valley, Napa County, California, The Americas United States
Wine Style
Dominant Grape
Cabernet Sauvignon
Closure Style
Bottle Size
Case Quantity
Wine Score
96 points, Jane Anson, decanter.com, August 2020 93-95+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, robertparker.com, October 2019
91-94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2020 17+ points, Tom Parker MW, jancisrobinson.com, September 2020
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    Case 6x75cl - -

Media Reviews

Jane Anson

This has a real sense of freshness and grip. A pure expression of Cabernet with a shot of eucalyptus and menthol, extremely concentrated but with elegance and power. The tannins just grip on to your palate and don`t let go leading to a lovely chewy finish. This is great stuff, with a discernibly finessed style that shows a fine tannic balance magnified through the lens of Californian heat and laced through with cassis, espresso and chocolate block. Great structure, this will take a few decades of ageing in its stride. 100% new oak, from five vineyards around Napa Valley, mainly in Stags Leap and Oak Knoll. 96 points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

A barrel sample, the 2017 Insignia is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, to be aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, it bursts from the glass with bold scents of baked black plums, crème de cassis and fruit cake with hints of espresso, tapenade, hoisin and potpourri. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-filling black berry preserves and loads of earthy sparks, framed by chewy tannins, finishing with loads of freshness. Very promising! 7,500 cases were made (about half the normal production). 93-95+ points

Antonio Galloni

The 2017 Insignia is dark, sumptuous and enveloping in feel, with a real sense of breadth and textural resonance. Cedar, tobacco, licorice, leather and incense give the 2017 striking aromatic nuance, but more than anything else, the 2017 is all about palate richness - and it has plenty of that. 91-94 points

Tom Parker MW

94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. Winter rains were much needed after three seasons of drought. A warm summer with regular heatwaves. A balance of waiting for fruit flavours against rising potential alcohol was the key to producing good wine in 2017. Harvest took place between 11 September and 7 October with strict selection, leading to the lowest production of Insignia in 20 years. Deep purple colour. Coconut sweetness in oak on the nose, but there is intense fruit too, with plummy, blackcurrant notes coating that extra sweetness. Expressive and opulent on the nose. Full of spice on the palate, but again the fruit bursts through with great intensity. This is impressive, modern but balanced. Give it some time to settle in the bottle but expect it to age well with the chalky tannins that coat the mouth through to the long finish. 17+ points

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