1999 Joseph Phelps - Insignia Napa Valley
Joseph Phelps Description
The outstanding 1999 vintage was characterized by a long growing season which allowed flavor development to proceed at a measured pace. Temperatures were mild, there was no threat of rain, and warm weather in mid-July allowed the crop to mature into picture-perfect clusters of small berries which, by harvest, displayed optimal color, flavor and acid levels. The Insignia from this growing season is a deep, black cherry red color, with aromas of roasted black fruit, licorice, cedar and spice. The tannins are rich and full in flavor and texture to give this wine incredible depth and length in the finish.
Wine Spectator: 94 Points
"Dark, rich and intensely concentrated, with a firm, tightly wound core of currant, black cherry, mineral, anise, sage and mocha-laced oak. Well-focused, with firm acidity and firm yet supple tannins. A young blockbuster in need of cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Best from 2004 through 2016. 15,000 cases made."
Wine Advocate: 91 Points
"I was in the minority thinking the 1999 vintage was good rather than special. The weather consisted of a mild summer, with a serious heat spike in July, and a relatively long hang-time that resulted in grapes with high acids as well as powerful tannins. The latter two issues have always concerned me, making me wonder if the fruit would crack and fade away before the tannins melted. A blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc (79% from estate vineyards and 21% from growers), 15,000 cases were produced and the alcohol reached 14%. The 1999 possesses a healthy deep ruby/purple color along with an open-knit, sweet, candied nose of red and black currants, loamy soil, underbrush and forest floor as well as a touch of oak. This medium-bodied, fresh, lively Insignia exhibits tell-tale acids with much of its tannin already resolved. It is an outstanding Insignia, but not one of the estate's legendary efforts. It should keep for ten more years."
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