2012 Joseph Phelps Insignia Joseph Phelps, Napa Valley, California, USA
|Grape Variety||Red Bordeaux Blend|
|Packaging||Original Wood Case|
|Duty Status||In Bond|
|Provenance||Purchased by Liquid Assets from a UK-based merchant; securely stored in a climate-controlled bonded facility|
96 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate (October 2015)
The flagship wine of the estate in reds is their Insignia, which has been one of the great Bordeaux blends made in California since the debut vintage in 1974. It usually has 30+ years aging potential, even in lighter vintages, of which the 2012, 2013 and 2014 are decidedly not. The 2012 Proprietary Red Insignia, a final blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and the rest Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc all from estate vineyards, was aged 24 months in 100% new French oak.
There are 15,000 cases of it, and it’s a fabulous, classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Inky purple to the rim, with notes of lead pencil shavings, incense, camphor, blackberry and creme de cassis, the wine is full-bodied, offering a multi-layered, textural, skyscraper-like mouthfeel, terrific purity, density and richness. All of this is achieved without a sense of heaviness or anything aggressive. This is a beauty to drink now and over the next 30 years.
94 Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (April 2016)
Saturated ruby. Very ripe aromas of black raspberry, musky espresso and mocha, but the 14.6% alcohol is in line with other recent vintages. Fleshy, plush and sweet, showing a distinctly wild, gamey aspect to its dark fruit and espresso flavors.
This viscous, full-bodied wine is wonderfully sweet and sexy today. The big, building back end features huge, ripe, dusty tannins that coat the front teeth. Will it shut down in the bottle? Certainly, the 2012 will rely more on its tannins than on its acidity for longevity.
97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (August 2018)
Another sensational 2012 is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Insignia, which is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc. Aged two years in new barrels, this is a decidedly opulent, sexy wine that has loads of crème de cassis, roasted herbs, lead pencil, lavender, and exotic spice. With a massive, expansive, broad, yet also weightless texture, it has a stacked mid-palate, no shortage of structure, and a blockbuster finish.
It’s an incredible Cabernet that can be drunk today with incredible pleasure or cellared for two decades or more.