See Decanter experts' rating, tasting notes and drinking window for Joseph Phelps, Insignia, Napa Valley, California 2009.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Points 86


Grape Variety:Cabernet Sauvignon
Drink:2013 - 2025


Joseph Phelps, Insignia, Napa Valley, California 2009



 Joseph Phelps, Insignia, Napa Valley, California 2009

Individual judges’ scores: Stephen Brook 88 Yohann Jousselin MS 85 David Motion 90
Stephen Brook: Sumptuous plummy nose. Very rich and velvety, concentrated, has abundant tannins that are still quite assertive, and some bitter chocolate on the aftertaste. Overall, a bit extracted and effortful, though it certainly doesn’t lack fruit. There’s power and drive without excessive alcohol, though the finish is rather blunt.
Yohann Jousselin MS: Very intense with a lot of cooked black fruits. Alcohol too high. Good tannin and acidity

David Motion: Big and butch. Broody black fruit. Oak is definitely present, but the dark fruit prevents it from overwhelming. A refreshing core of fruit acidity stops it feeling heavy.

Joseph Phelps

Missouri-born Joseph Phelps founded his namesake vineyard in Napa Valley in 1973 after buying a cattle ranch just off the Silverado Trail. He won early fame by making California’s first varietal Syrah.

Phelps was one of the first California wineries to produce a premium Bordeaux blend from its own grapes, and went on to pioneer Rhône varieties. Phelps’ best known wine is Insignia, a Bordeaux blend first bottled in 1974.
Over the years, the winery has been on a mission to use 100% estate grown grapes in its wines. Following several purchases, it owned eight vineyards from St Helena to Carneros as of March 2016.


Wine name:Insignia
Wine classification:
Wine alcohol content:14.5%
Wine colour:Red
Wine vintage:2009
Wine style:Red, full-bodied