2019 Insignia


2019 Insignia

Wine Team New York |

One cannot speak of the legends of Napa Valley without including Joseph Phelps, a Vintner who critic Robert Parker once called “...one of the great visionaries of Napa Valley,” and one cannot speak of Joseph Phelps Vineyards without mentioning the flagship and world-renowned wine, Insignia. 

2023 marks the 50 year anniversary of the first vintage from Joseph Phelps Vineyards, and while 2024 will technically be the 50 year anniversary of the first bottling of Insignia, I see no reason to wait to celebrate this spectacular wine. 2019 was a stellar year in Napa Valley, which Insignia showcases beautifully with velvety-smooth dense tannins, a rich and voluminous mouthfeel, and a seamless and sensual experience from first sip throughout the long and luxurious finish. 

When Joseph Phelps founded his eponymous winery in the early 1970’s, the relatively young wine region of Napa Valley was still struggling to find credibility amongst collectors of centuries-old winemaking regions in the Old World. Napa was slow to recover following the Volstead Act, also known as Prohibition, which lasted from 1920-1933 during which it was illegal to produce wine in the US except for medicinal or sacramental purposes. Following the repeal, almost all of the wineries in Napa Valley were abandoned. While the following decades were challenging to say the least, those years also provided an opportunity for pioneering wine dreamers and entrepreneurs to purchase land and begin producing wine.

Prior to moving to Napa, Joseph Phelps owned a construction company in Colorado, but had fallen in love with wine and was a passionate collector. He acted quickly in 1972 when the opportunity arose to purchase a former cattle ranch in the Eastern foothills of Napa Valley of 640 acres. He founded Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 1973, and in 1974 released the first vintage of a wine he called Insignia. 

The fanciful name of “Insignia” was chosen as being purposefully vague so that Joseph could decide what type of wine he wanted to bottle under that name each vintage, keeping his options to both red and white wines. However, after 3 successful years of bottling red Bordeaux varieties, it became clear that Insignia was destined to be a red Bordeaux-style blend.

Insignia is crafted exclusively from estate-owned vineyards, guaranteeing total quality control in the glass, and is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and was aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak.

Presented in a distinctive crested bottle, Insignia is eye-catching in any cellar or on any restaurant table, and while drinking beautifully now, will also reward you for decades of patience. Secure your share today of this legendary wine while our allocation allows. It will not disappoint.

Tasting note:

Deep inky ruby in the glass, opening to aromas of cassis, wild blackberry, clove, tobacco, and freshly-cut lavender. Undeniably powerful and dense on the palate, the oak is polished and frames the mid-palate of ripe and luscious fruit. Freshness carries the finish for days, with black fruits and freshly-turned sweet earth emerging. An impressive wine that exemplifies why Insignia is known worldwide as a Napa Valley icon. Drink now-2050.

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