Notable VINTAGES for the Holidays: Joseph Phelps Insignia 2011

Whether you’re indulging your own taste buds or want to make a splash at your fifth holiday party of the week, we have an insider’s opinion on the best bottles you can buy this festive season.

Last week we told you about our favourite Bordeaux, while today it’s all about Napa Valley’s full-bodied and smooth Joseph Phelps Insignia 2011 (710400 (XD) 750mL $258.95). 

‘Cause the holidays, in their most traditional sense, represent all that is good on earth.

And a perfect bottle of blended red for the holiday dinner table definitely falls under that umbrella.

Here’s why you’ll love it:

– It’s made by one of California’s venerable wineries, Joseph Phelps Vineyards. 

– First bottled in 1974, the Insignia holds a place of honour as California’s first Bordeaux-style red blend, not to mention one of its foremost proprietary reds – connoisseurs will recognize it among the likes of Opus One and Dominus.

-Aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak, the 2011 Insignia is composed of Cabernet Sauvignon (82%), Petit Verdot (11%), Malbec (4%), Merlot (2% ) and Cabernet Franc (1%).  It’s layered with aromas of dark fruit, tobacco, garrigue and graphite. Flavours of bright red cherry, blackberry and espresso will come to mind when this fresh and lively wine touches down on your palate.

– It is particularly precocious and can be enjoyed upon release or cellared for 15 or more years. Perfect for whenever you feel like enjoying a fantastic red.

– Wine guru Robert Parker awarded it 90-93 points. That’s “An outstanding wine of exceptional quality and character” according to his rating system.

– Parker added: “The five vintages of Insignia which consumers should be keeping an eye on are 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.” You’re looking at the 2011.

Be sure to check back next week as we continue to run down our top recommendations from VINTAGES’ impressive holiday wine selection.


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