Insignia, Joseph Phelps 1996

SubregionNapa Valley

See all vintages of this wine

See all wines by Joseph Phelps

This wine has now sold out. To register your interest please contact us at and we will notify you when it is back in stock.

Tasting Notes

Aged 22 months in 100% new French oak, this blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Merlot reveals a powerful core of red and black fruits, dusty, loamy soil, lavender and a hint of toast. I would not describe it as elegant, but rather, it is a big, backstrapping, Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine that should continue to drink well for 15 or more years. The third consecutive brilliant effort from Joseph Phelps, the 1996 Insignia was produced from a weird growing season. A freakish rainstorm in mid-May (very atypical for Napa Valley) damaged the delicate flowers, thus reducing crop yields. Heat spikes occurred in July, and many vineyards were stressed by the high temperatures as well as drought-like conditions. Fortunately, September was mild and dry overall, and October was normal with Indian Summer lasting until early November. This big, muscular 1996 does not possess the charm and finesse of the 1994 and 1995.

Score: 95Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, November 2013

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.