Joseph Phelps Winery

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The average American wine drinker, who is accustomed to drinking wines from the Americas, may hold a wine labeled by varietal in esteem over a “red blend.” This, of course, is a novice mistake. And as we fans of Bordeaux know, many of the best wines in the world are red blends. Today, thanks in part to an innovator named Joseph Phelps, some of these wines are American. 

In 1974, Phelps decided to make a separate cuvee for each year, a wine made from the best grapes his vineyard had produced—whatever they were. He named the wine Insignia. Because he was not limited by the maximum percentages required to label by varietal, he had greater creative control—blending allowed him to achieve the balance and complexity one associates with Bordeaux. By giving himself flexibility with the ratios, he made American wines like no other. Today, Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant grape in Insignia, but ratios of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc vary from year to year, so that each vintage is magically distinct. 

This decade has been particularly good for the vineyard, and we are thrilled to be able to offer you wines from legendary years—wines that express the qualities Insignia is famous for: rich, full-bodied, and opulent, but with magnificent structure and a famously long finish. These wines age well and are a must-have for any serious collection.