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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.
93(+?) Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - May/June 2012
Saturated medium ruby. Deep aromas of cassis, mocha, chocolate and nutty oak, plus an almost porty whiff of kirsch. Lush, sweet and flamboyantly ripe, offering outstanding density to its dark berry, leather and nutty oak flavors. Large-scaled and powerful wine, and a bit more accessible in the early going than some recent vintages of this bottling. Finishes with huge tongue-dusting, chewy tannins and compelling chocolatey richness, but there's nothing hard about this very broad yet sharply delineated wine. With 24 hours in the recorked bottle, this cabernet showed considerably more energy on the nose and in the mouth, with very fresh flavors of crushed black fruits and minerals taking over. (A sample I tasted a month earlier at the winery was dominated by its forbidding tannins, and winemaker Damian Parker told me it has been very tightly wrapped from the start. But the high quality of the 2009 Backus was obvious from my latest sample, even if it should be held in the cellar for at least six to eight years.)