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About Joseph Phelps
Joseph Phelps Vineyards was born out of owner Joseph Phelps's love for the Napa Valley, which he discovered while his construction firm was building a winery near St. Helena. Today, Joseph Phelps Vineyards produces several wines that are 100% estate grown, including the flagship Insignia, a lush, highly concentrated blend of Bordeaux varietals.
95 Points | Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
92(+?) Points | International Wine Cellar , May/June 2005
($175; like the 2002 Insignia, this was bottled in January of this year) Good medium ruby. Cassis, kirsch , menthol and roasted herbs on the nose. Rather muscular on the attack, then dense, lush and highly concentrated in the middle, with a deep core of dark fruit and bitter chocolate flavors. In comparison to the Insignia, this is a more rustic style of wine, but the concentration of phenolic material is impressive, and this 2002 is finer than the 2001 release. Finishes with excellent length and youthfully tough tannins, but does not build on the back end with quite the same subtlety as the Insignia. I'd wait a good six or seven years on this wine. The Backus vineyard, located across the valley from Harlan Estate, is now farmed biodynamically. The 1999 release was the last vintage entirely from vines planted in 1975; Phelps began replanting the vineyard in '97 and '98, after buying it in '96.