This flagship wine from Joseph Phelps is always one of Napa Valley's very best Cabernet blends, consistent vintage after vintage and this wine from the near-perfect 2018 vintage is outstanding. 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc from estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards: 30% Las Rocas Vineyard (Stags Leap District), 18% Suscol Vineyard (South Napa Valley), 18% Yountville Vineyard (Oak Knoll District), 14% Home Ranch Vineyard (St. Helena), 13% Banca Dorada Vineyard(Rutherford), and 7% Barboza Vineyard (Stags Leap District). The wine aged 24 months in 100% new French oak from coopers Taransaud, Dargaud Jaegle, Demptos, Marcel Cadet and Sylvain.
James Suckling scored this 99 points saying "Blackberry and black chocolate with mint, conifer and clove. Sweet tobacco, violets and flowers, too. Some graphite. Cool and complex. Full-bodied with ultra fine, dusty tannins and a wonderful, extremely long finish. Savory and refined. A classic-styled 2018. This needs time, but is so approachable and gorgeous. One of the best Insignias ever. Alive and changing all the time. 40% Stags Leap AVA. 87% cabernet sauvignon, 8% petit verdot, 3% malbec and 2% cabernet franc. Leave this for five or six years, but so wonderful now."
Wine Enthusiast Magazine awarded this a Cellar Selection and scored it 98 points saying "This perennially impressive property blend combines 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, aging the whole for 24 months in 100% new French oak. Elements of cedar, sage, dried herb and underbrush meet a grasp of rich red fruit and chalky tannin, with a dusting of cocoa throughout. This will do to cellar; enjoy best from 2028 through 2038."
The Wine Advocate scored this 97+ saying "Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes storming out of the glass with powerful notes of blackcurrant cordial, stewed black plums and boysenberries, plus hints of cedar chest, graphite, menthol and wet slate with a fragrant waft of clove oil. The medium to full-bodied palate already demonstrates remarkable balance at this youthful stage, featuring a firm backbone of fine-grained tannins and bold freshness to support the tightly wound, crunchy black fruits, finishing long and spicy."
Jeb Dunnuck scored this from barrel 95-97 points saying "Very much in the style of the vintage with its pure, concentrated, yet also elegant and focused style, the 2018 Insignia offers up a vivid purple hue to go with lots of red and blue fruits, menthol, tobacco, graphite, and distinct minerality. With an almost Bordeaux-like style, medium to full-bodied richness, present tannins, and a great finish, it's a beautiful, classic Cabernet Sauvignon blend from this team that's going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for two decades or more."
Smaller production of the 2018 vintage means this wine will be limited!