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1995 Phelps Insignia 750ml

1995 Phelps Insignia

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The 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.

Joseph Phelps is doing a phenomenal job with their Insignia. The winery produces 10,000-12,000 cases of this proprietary red wine, all of it aged in 100% new oak. Vintages since 1991 have been superb. Perhaps the best back-to-back vintages ever produced of this wine are the 1994 and 1995, which rival the great Insignias made in 1974 and 1976.

97 Points - Robert Parker

Producer: Josephe Phelps Vineyards
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Price: $268.74
Sale Price: $214.99
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Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most prominent dark-skinned grape varieties except Merlot in terms of area under vines, but which comprises our largest selection of wines. Grown in just about every wine producing region and climate, Cabernet Sauvignon can express a huge range of aromas, from green peppers in cool climates through to dark jammy fruit in hot regions. Common aromas include blackcurrants, mint, graphite, and forest floor, to name a few. Maturation in small oak barrels can develop a complex range of aromas from cedar wood, cigar box and tobacco to eucalyptus and undergrowth. Cabernet Sauvignon’s success is partly due to its ability to adapt to a range of soils and climates. It is the main constituent of the Bordeaux blend in the revered communes of Pauillac, St. Estephe and St. Julien, and has achieved equal success in California’s Napa Valley. It is grown extensively throughout Southern Australia, with some outstanding examples from the Terra Rossa soil of Coonawarra. Cabernet Sauvignon also plays an increasing role in Tuscany, Italy, where it is blended with native varieties such as Sangiovese to produce the Super Tuscans.

Country: United States
Although wine is made in all 50 states, it is understandable, with almost 90% of the country's production, that California is synonymous with domestic wine. As of 2010 harvest, reports indicate that Washington, New York & Oregon account for additional 6% of production, meanwhile Virginia, Missouri and Texas's wine industries are growing to a point beyond that of just a tourist attraction.

Region: California
California is one of the most diverse wine producing regions of the world. Although it has a history spanning over 200 years, it has experienced most of its growth in the last fifty years. The regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma County have become as renowned as France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy. While Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay are by far the most popular fine wine varieties, producers in the Golden State have also experimented with an unparalleled array of diverse varieties, including Zinfandel, Syrah, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo.

Sub-Region: Napa Valley
The country’s most famous wine producing region, Napa Valley stretches from the North bay of San Francisco Bay in the South, all the way up to Mount Saint Helena in the North. Although the climate is suitable for a wide range of varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon is dominant and practically synonymous with the region. To account for its geographical diversity, the valley is split up into a number of AVAs. From north to south, the valley consists of Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville, and Oak Knoll. Higher elevation sites include Howell Mountain on the east and Mount Veeder on the west. On its own, Stags Leap District is tucked into the very south east corner of the valley.

Type: Red
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used. Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.