Joseph Phelps Insignia 2000
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Deftly balanced, with dark color and rich fruit. Elegant, with tiers of currant, mocha, blackberry and espresso bean. Firms up at midpalate and flexes its tannic strength on the finish. Best to cellar a year or two. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Best from 2004 through 2012. 15,000 cases made. (JL)
The 2000 Insignia (20,000 cases) is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. A strong effort for the vintage, it possesses a dense ruby/purple color in addition to a powerful nose of licorice, espresso roast, and black currants, medium to full body, a lush mid-palate, and a sweet, concentrated finish with no hard edges. It is a forward, precocious Insignia to enjoy over the next ten years. The bulk of the fruit for the Insignia cuvee comes from vineyards on Manley Lane as well as the Stags Leap area. All the Petit Verdot and Malbec utilized is from the vineyard adjacent to the winery. The Insignia cuvee has been one of Napa's great Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines since its inception in 1974. In the eighties, this offering seemed to fall off a bit, but it was phenomenal in the seventies, and most of those vintages are still alive. Moreover, it has been absolutely brilliant since 1991. Remarkably,18,000-20,000 cases of this wine are produced in top vintages.