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98pt Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013

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Without Joseph Phelps and his innovative vision, today’s Napa may still be a simple, small potatoes wine region. Bursting onto the scene in 1974, Insignia was one of the wines that put Napa on the map. How fortunate of a vintage to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Insignia than the 2013 harvest. A Historic vintage an an even more historic wine! 30 bottles available.

About the wine

First produced from the 1974 vintage, 2013 Insignia marks the 40th vintage of our flagship Napa Valley wine. 2013 Insignia opens with heady blackberry and plum aromatics laced with baking spices, cardamom and espresso. Focused and fresh, this exceptionally concentrated wine showcases elegant tannin structure and a silky mouthfeel layered with dark fruit, sweet vanilla bean, cracked black pepper and bittersweet chocolate.     

WinemakerAshley Hepworth
Napa Valley 
98 pts, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
98 pts,
 Wine Enthusiast
- Vivino Rating:

4.6 / 5.0, 433 Reviews
Grapes: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc
Vineyards: Estate-grown Napa Valley Vineyards
Cooperage: 24 months in 100% French Oak
ABV: 14.5%

About the winery and vineyard

From a reverential standpoint, Joseph Phelps’ name is right in the wheelhouse of icons like Robert Mondavi and Chuck Wagner. He was already a respected construction executive when he launched the winery in 1973, planting vineyards on 670 acres of old cattle ranch land. When the first vintage of the winery’s revolutionary Bordeaux-style blend Insignia hit the shelves the following year, it was clear he moved from building structures to building empires. Over the course of 44 years, Phelps’ winery has snapped up estate vineyards, hauled in three 100-point perfect scores from Wine Advocate, and saw its iconic Insignia label declared Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator in 2002. It’s a legacy that could allow them to coast on their laurels. Yet winemaker Ashley Hepworth won’t let such slacking occur, and her finely-tuned viticultural process ensures wines bearing Joseph’s moniker will land on various “Top 100” lists every year. For this stunning Cab Sauv, Ashley once again turns to the winery’s top-flight estate vineyards to create her singular brand of magic. These special vines are scattered about a venerable “who’s who” of Napa appellations, like Rutherford, Oakville, Stags Leap, and Oak Knoll, to name but a few. Each of these vineyards imparts its own distinctive characteristics to each grape it offers. Ashley makes sure these succinct voices blend in pure harmony, resulting in another Parker pleaser that does more than honor Joseph’s legacy. It propels it into the next century.

About the winemaker

Ashley Hepworth fell in love with wine while in the restaurant industry; a career that spanned her college years in Durango, Colorado and led her to the kitchen of the late Charlie Trotter in Chicago. This passion turned into a pursuit in 1999, when she joined Joseph Phelps as a harvest intern. Her star has skyrocketed from these humble roots, thanks in part to a key 2005 internship at Chateau Angelus. She happened to be at the prestigious St. Emilion winery when it nabbed a sacred 100 point Parker score, and the lessons learned from the gig have served her well since taking over as Phelps’ Winemaker in 2008. She’s since become a certified Parker favorite; the critic has rated 33 of her wines 90 points or better, including a whopping 13 bottles scored between 94 and 100 points. She’ll be quick to tell you her success stems from a near-subconscious following of Joseph Phelps’ philosophy, simply because his concept of confidently pushing the winery forward perfectly aligns with her own winemaking approach. 

98 pts, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

"The 2013 Insignia (their 40th vintage) is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, and the rest Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This wine is aged 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels, and the production can vary from just over 10,000 cases to nearly 20,000 cases in a very abundant vintage. There were 12,300 cases produced in 2013, and this vintage of Insignia is certainly going to turn out to be one of the great ones. The wine offers a stunning inky blue/purple color, a gorgeous nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite, new saddle leather and barrique. The wine has fabulous concentration, a full-bodied, multi-layered mouthfeel, and tremendous finish with moderate tannin. It’s interesting to note that the Phelps winemaking staff had been gradually reducing the amount of Merlot in this wine over recent vintages. The 2013 should hit its peak in 5-7 years and last for 35-50."

98 pts, Wine Enthusiast

"The mighty Insignia shows a vibrancy of purpose and craft in this, its 40th vintage, combining 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc. Together they find a higher calling of perfumed violet, dark plum and berry along with graphite and an edginess of dried herb. Firm, structured tannins show tremendous potential for aging and decanting. This is a near-perfect effort from a blockbuster vintage."

Other Details

Alcohol percentage:
Cab from CA Legend - Joseph Phelps Insignia 40th Anniversary
Joseph Phelps Cabernet Napa Valley 2014 – New Release
Joseph Phelps Cabernet Napa Valley 2014 – New Release
Ashley Hepworth melds estate grapes into a lush expression of intense flavor concentration and sleek smoothness.
Joseph Phelps is a Napa staple, and the 2014 is at the top of its game. It drinks like a junior version of the iconic Insignia – a testament to the quality off Phelps Cab!
Napa Innovator
Winery 3x 100pt WA Scores
2017-4-20 23:59:00 -08:00:00
#review=Robert Parker, Wine Advocate:
98 / 100
#review=Wine Enthusiast:
98 / 100
#stars_review=Vivino Users, 4.6 (432 ratings):
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Ends Today: Joseph Phelps Cabernet Napa Valley 2014 – New Release

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