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2005 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon "Insignia"

Winery: Joseph Phelps

Vintage: 2005

Wine Name/Vineyard: "Insignia"

Wine Category: Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Verdot, & 1% Merlot

Region: Napa Valley

State or country: CA

Price: $200

Cases produced: 12,000

KWG Score: 96.7 (based on 7 reviews)

Ken's Wine Rating: Excellent (95)

Review date: August 18, 2009

Wine Review: This wine seems to be a winner every year and it gets better with time. I had a chance to retry this wine on my recent trip to California. I also found this vintage to be particularly approachable at a young age, which I found attractive. Who really wants to wait? In the end, I found this wine to be one of the best wines I tried in my recent trip. It is a very dark opaque purple colored wine. It opens with an inviting ripe blackberry bouquet. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, extremely well balanced, and super silky. The flavor profile is a delicious mild blackberry with notes of spice, black pepper, and blueberry. The finish is rather dry and it’s very well managed tannins sail along nicely. This definitely is a wine they you would buy to impress someone and serve with a nice thick grilled NY strip steak. Enjoy - Ken

12/08 - This wine recently showed quite well in our blind tasting of Cab based high end wines. This very dark opaque purple colored wine opens with a blackberry like bouquet with hints of spice. On the palate, this full bodied wine is well balanced, smooth, and savory with rich and extracted blackberry flavors with a hint of espresso. The finish is dry and its well managed tannins are nicely prolonged. One panelist thought this wine was designed for a steak tartare. Enjoy – KWGTP

Winemaker Notes: The 2005 vintage was a year in which the wine was more austere early on, almost “Bordeaux”-like. After two years in barrel, the wine blossomed, showing amazing depth, texture and vibrant fruit qualities. Deeply colored, concentrated and layered, with floral, anise, black cherry and graphite aromas, this wine is classically structured with excellent acidity, well-balanced tannins, and a mouth-staining, persistent finish.

Organic status: not organic

Buy it: Use 1000 Corks to find stores that sell Joseph Phelps 2005 Insignia.

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  • Unbelievable (100-98) (Perfect or just about)
  • Excellent (97-94) (Wine just blows you away. Just makes you yearn for more.)
  • Very Good Plus (93-90) (Wine to impress someone, but not blow them away.)
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  • Good (86-84) (Drinkable, ordinary, & non-distinctive)
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Biodynamics as applied to wine; advocates organic viticulture, avoids pesticides, and combats insects with plants.

Source: What Do You Know About Wine Calendar - Richard Nidel

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