Joseph Phelps Insignia 2002
The 2002 Insignia (a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec) is performing even better than it did post-bottling. A cross Napa County blend of some of their finest vineyard sources, it offers a super-sweet nose of creme de cassis, charcoal, incense, cedar and forest floor, full body and silky tannins. It is one of the few Napa Cabernet Sauvignon blends that is world-class, capable of 30+ years of cellaring, and made in abundant quantities (between 8,000-15,000 cases). I remember tasting the 1974 Insignia in the late 1970's and stating that it would need to be drunk in its first 5-6 years of life. Wrong. That wine, which is now 38 years of age, is still a beauty!
Rich flavors fan out, the way you hope for, coating the palate with layers of currant, fresh earth, mineral, cedar, tobacco, mocha, black licorice and espresso. The tannins are firm and the structure built for a longer haul. Very much in its infancy still at age 10, it finds that unusual bridge between dense Napa fruit and a Bordeaux build. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec.-2002 California Cabernet blind retrospective (May 2012). Drink now through 2032. 15,000 cases made.