1995 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley California USA Wine Tasting Note
|1995||Joseph Phelps Insignia (Napa Valley)|
A fully developed, elegant, refined, classy wine that offers everything in balance and harmony. The dark red berries, with touches of earth, cocoa, and spice, are ripe, the tannins are sweet and the finish is long, with freshness and energy. I really like the style here. No decanting needed. Just pop, pour and enjoy... 94 Points
460 Views Tasted Oct 3, 2021
Ripe, silky round and delicious, this is a finesse styled wine with a lot of charm that is definitely in the sweet spot for current drinking. 94 Points
4,843 Views Tasted Dec 9, 2015
Cassis, licorice, herbs, truffle, blackberry, tobacco and earthy aromas lead to a balanced, fresh, round style of California Sauvignon that ends with soft, ripe, layers of blackberry and cherry. This is drinking great today. 95 Points
7,096 Views Tasted Feb 29, 2012
Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Napa Valley California Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay wine producer profile, wine tasting notes, wine and food pairing tips, best vintages, history of the property, information on their wine making techniques, terroir and soil. You can also read about the Grapes used for California wine and learn about the extensive History of Napa Valley, California Wines
Joseph Phelps History, Overview
Joseph Phelps Vineyards was born when Joseph Phelps moved to California from Colorado. His initial forays into making wine in the Napa Valley started with the old Souverain winery. Souverain is known today as the Rutherford Hill winery. His next efforts took place again under the Souverain banner, this time it was in Sonoma. Phelps earned his fortune as a contractor in Colorado. This gave him the ability to turn the 600 acre Connolly cattle ranch he purchased in 1973 into a working vineyard. That ranch is what we know of today as Joseph Phelps Vineyards.
He finished construction on the Joseph Phelps Vineyards winery the following year. 1974 also saw the debut vintage for Phelps Insignia, although the wine was kept in barrel and bottle until 1978. Sadly, Joseph Phelps died in 2015 at the age of 87. Joseph Phelps Remembered Phelps Insignia remains one of the most popular wines in all of California, due to its great style and ability to age and develop for decades. In fact, as of 2015, vintages from the 1970's are still showing well today.
Joseph Phelps also deserves credit for being one of the first growers to produce vineyard designated wines. In 1974, he was already producing wine from grapes planted in the famous Eisele vineyard. His most famous wine, Insignia was also born that same year. In fact, fruit from the Eisele vineyard formed the backbone for his Joseph Phelps Insignia. Today, Joseph Phelps Insignia remains the companies best wine and its namesake.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Wines, Winemaking
The vines of Joseph Phelps Vineyards are planted in a myriad of different areas including Stags Leap, Rutherford, Spring Valley Ranch, Los Rocas, Barbiza, Backus, Banca Dorada, Yountville, Carneros and Suscol. At Joseph Phelps Vineyards, they believe in and practice organic, natural, sustainable farming techniques. In fact, they embrace biodynamic farming when possible. During the early years for the production of Phelps Insignia, the wine was vinified and aged in large, traditional, wood tanks. Today, the wine is now aged 100% new, French oak barrels for up to 24 months.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards flagship wine remains Insignia, This proprietary blend remains the envy of many California winemakers. Like the top Bordeaux chateau, they are able to produce high quality wines on a consistent basis, even with such a massive volume of wine. In some vintages close to 18,000 cases of are produced of Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia! However, that is only in some years, on average, the production of Phepls Insignia is closer to 15,000 cases of wine. Following Insignia on the quality parade is the Joseph Phelps Vineyards Backus Vineyards wine. It's produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from vines planted on the steep hillside slopes located in the Oakville Corridor. If you're in their vineyards, you can see the vineyards of Screaming Eagle and Rudd Estate just below.
Serving and Decanting Joseph Phelps wines with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Joseph Phelps Vineyards are best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages of their red wine can be decanted for 1-3 hours, depending on the character of the vintage. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
The red wine of Joseph Phelps Vineyards is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, ribs, hamburgers, barbecue, roasted, braised, grilled dishes and stews. Joseph Phelps Vineyards is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta.
The white wine of Joseph Phelps Vineyards is best served with all types of seafood and shellfish, sushi, sashimi, chicken, veal, pork and cheese.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards produces a myriad of wines from a variety of grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Eisrebe, a sweet wine. While much of the wine produced by Joseph Phelps comes from estate grown grapes, that is not always the case. Joseph Phelps Syrah is possibly their only wine that is made from exclusively purchased fruit. The Pinot Noir is produced from vines purchased and planted in 1999.