Joseph Phelps Facts
St. Helena, CA, USA
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viogner
Oak Knoll District, Oakville AVA, Rutherford AVA, Sonoma Coast AVA, Stags Leap District AVA, St. Helena AVA,
Ashley Hepworth, Damian Parker, Joseph Phelps, Bill Phelps
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In the early '70s, having just left the construction business, Joseph Phelps had to assemble an expert team of winemakers to help him with the transition Phelps produced his first vintage of Insignia in 1974. This lush, highly concentrated Bordeaux varietal blend remains the estate's flagship wine. And it's a rarity-- not in quantity, but, rather, in nature: this is a blue-chip Napa Valley collectible of sizable production from blended rather than single vineyard sources. .
Today, Damian Parker is Director of Winemaking. He began his career as a bottling line supervisor and continued up through the ranks until his promotion to Director in 2008. Ashley Hepworth is the head winemaker and works closely with Parker on a daily basis. Phelps wines are 100% estate grown. Grapes are harvested from a variety of locations: Spring Valley Home Ranch near St. Helena, Banca Dorada Vineyard in Rutherford, Las Rocas and Barboza Vineyards in Stags Leap, Suscol Vineyard in South Napa, Yountville Vineyard in Oak Knoll, and Backus Vineyard in Oakville. Beyond Insignia, Phelps is a Napa Valley benchmark for densely fruity, ripe Cabernets that are capable of gaining complexity with bottle aging. Backus is a muscular Cabernet with characteristic dark berry, bitter chocolate and mint flavors. Other estate grown wines include Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.
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