1998 Joseph Phelps - Insignia Napa Valley
Joseph Phelps Description
With dark, saturated purple color and aromas of spice, oak and cassis, the 1998 Insignia is full-bodied and well-balanced, with sweet tannins framing a layered finish. It is a generous, compelling wine which will almost certainly take its place among the best reds of the vintage.
Wine Spectator: 93 Points
"A dark, deliciously rich and complex youngster, brimming with layers of curant, blackberry, plum, mineral, spice, chocolate and cedar. Finishes with a gush of flavors, yet maintains its finesse and grace. Best from 2002 through 2012. 14,000 cases made."
Wine Advocate: 92 Points
"The El Niño weather pattern in 1998 brought abundant rain to Napa Valley in the spring and later in the summer. Grape clusters were characterized by irregular ripening and different-sized berries, then the threat of raisining when heat spikes occurred. The nightmare growing season required diligent and frequent vineyard work. Getting cooler and mountainside vineyard sites fully mature was difficult, if not impossible. The more precocious vineyards began harvesting at the end of September and continued through early November (which did not happen again until 2011). Joseph Phelps produced 14,000 cases of the 1998 Insignia, a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot (80% from estate vineyards and 20% from growers). The alcohol came in at 14%. The 1998 displays a dark garnet color as well as notes of leafy tobacco, underbrush, black cherries and black currants. An elegant, mid-weight Insignia with sweet fruit, ripe tannin and interesting cedar, licorice and spice characteristics, it is fully mature and is unlikely to get any better. Enjoy it over the next 7-8 years."
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