Joseph Phelps Insignia 1995
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Wine AdvocateThe 1995 Insignia may be slightly better than the 1994 - as hard as that is to believe. The final blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot. The 1995 exhibits a character similar to the 1994 - cassis, fruitcake, cedar, herbs, coffee, and black fruits intermixed with smoke - but the 1995 is slightly longer in the mouth. It is a wine of extraordinary extraction, full body, and marvelously pure fruit. Moreover, it has managed to soak up the 100% new oak aging, leaving only subtle pain grille notes. The tannin may be slightly more noticeable in the 1994, but my instincts suggest the 1995 is even richer and longer than the 1994 - as amazing as that sounds. This prodigious Insignia should be at its best over the next 20-25 years.
International Wine CellarDeep ruby-red. Exhilarating, vibrant aromas of cassis, minerals, cocoa powder and brown spices. Juicy, very intensely flavored and sharply delineated; offers lovely restrained sweetness and great finesse. Complex and light on its feet. Finishes bright and fine, with firm tannins and strong dark berry, tobacco and woodsmoke flavors. Remarkably subtle oak. Even better than it showed last winter.
Wine SpectatorVery Bordeaux-like in its complex cedar, currant and anise aromas. Firm, concentrated and still quite tannic, it is bold and rich, with layers of currant, plum, mineral, cedar and tobacco flavors, many of which are still in their youthful primary stage. While it is certainly approachable (best decanted) it appears to have the concentration and stuffing to go another decade. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Verdot.--1995 California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2015.