2010 Joseph Phelps “Insignia” Proprietary Red, Napa Valley. (preview)*
Will Phelps, grandson of the famed Napa Pioneer and vintner Joseph Phelps, recently showed off the future release of the fabled Insignia, the first proprietary labeled Bordeaux blend, which debuted in 1974. That first release, made by Walter Schug, is considered a classic as was the 1979, 1985, 1987.. and the list goes on and on. The upcoming release, the 2010 Joseph Phelps Insignia lives up to it’s heritage and should prove a very successful effort with great balance and detail delivered in elegant refined style, a hallmark of these great wines, and even at this baby stage shows remarkable depth and focus. While there is some tannin that needs softening and oak that needs to settle in, there is lots to admire in the 2010, this classic wine is richly textured with loads of blackberry, creme de cassis, plum and cherry layers with smoky vanilla, graphite, sweet tobacco, cedar and creamy chocolate notes. The fresh acidity leaves a slightly crispness and dry bite, but by the September release date this wine should fill out and gain much rounder mouth feel and while it will drink nicely young, it should benefit greatly with a few years in the bottle and cellar, giving even greater rewards in a decade. I hope I get a second and third chance to taste this wine over time, it is a solid effort from elite vineyard sites and deserves it’s high reputation, no question here at all.
($180-225-Pre Release) 94 Points, grapelive
Not yet released
*Note this wine is due out in Sept. 2013, but is avail. on pre sale in many places, at big savings.
Avail at www.sfwtc.com