The Original CA Cult Classic: 97-100 pt. 2016 Joseph Pehlps Insignia

Posted on: 06/28/19 6:02 PM

There’s not much to say about Insignia that hasn’t already been said. One of the iconic cult and groundbreaking CA Cabernets that helped launch an entire era, Insignia is about as close as it gets to a Napa First Growth. Intense, powerful, opulent and concentrated, the great Insignias carry their size with grace, all while offering plenty of hedonistic fruit.

2016 is an epic year in Napa and this year’s Insignia is no different, already garnering huge scores from Parker’s Wine Advocate. Whether you’re new to the game or have a multi-vintage vertical, 2016 is one not to miss.

2016 Joseph Phelps Insignia

97-100 points: “A barrel sample made up of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec to be aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak, the 2016 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a deep garnet-purple color and is a little reticent at this still nascent stage (to be bottled in January 2019), opening out to reveal chocolate-covered cherries, wild blueberries and black raspberries with touches of underbrush, cedar chest and bouquet garni plus a hint of grilled meat. Medium to full-bodied, the palate springs forth with exciting energy, offering loads of red and black fruit layers and compelling herbal sparks, featuring a firm, fine-grained backbone and bags of freshness lifting the finish.” Lisa Perotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

98 points: “ Lovely density and intensity with dark berries, blueberries and inky undertones with hints of spice, chocolate and walnuts. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a flavorful finish. The texture and length are fantastic here. Complex. Hints of smoky wood at the end. This needs three to five years more in bottle age. Exciting wine. Try after 2022.” James Suckling

96-98 pts.: “ Not yet bottled, the 2016 Insignia should match – or exceed – the 2015, yet it shows a slightly more vibrant, cooler, more classic character. Vibrant notes of crème de cassis, violets, crushed rocks, and lead pencil all give way to a full-bodied 2016 that has silky tannins, no hard edges, and thrilling purity of fruit. It’s going to be reasonably approachable on release, yet I suspect won’t hit prime time until 4-5 years after the vintage and should cruise for 2-3 decades.” Jeb Dunnuck

94-97 pts.: “The 2016 Insignia is fabulous. Dark and powerful in the glass, the 2016 pulses with a sense of vibrancy that is impossible to miss. Even with all of its energy, the 2016 is understated and nuanced, especially next to the vintages that surround it. Today, the 2016 is a bit less expressive than it has been in the past, and yet all of the elements are in place for it to develop into an exquisite wine.” Anotnio Galloni, Vinous

Posted in Reserve List By Ian Halbert