WA (96-100) JS 97 AG (94-96) IWC (92-95) W&S 92 Pts - According to Robert Parker - "Joseph Phelps’ flagship wines include the incredibly ageworthy Insignia. The 2012 Insignia Proprietary Red is composed of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, all aged 24 months in 100% new French oak. The vintage was of such high quality and quantity that 17,500 cases were produced. A magnificent Insignia that will be bottled in several months, it boasts an opaque purple color as well as fabulous notes of graphite, blackberries, blackcurrant liqueur, camphor, barbecue smoke and spice box. Rich, full-bodied and opulent with plenty of tannin and structure lurking beneath the extravagant generosity of fruit, this stunning 2012 should drink well for 25-30+ years."
According to James Suckling - "Amazing aromas of blueberry, blackberry, mineral and bark. Complex nose. Full body plus super integrated tannins with superb balance and depth. Coffee and chocolate too. Very long and mind-bending. A tribute to the vintage. Drink or hold. A long life ahead of it. A blend of 75% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 10% petit verdot, 3% malbec, and 2% cabernet franc."
According to Antonio Galloni - "The 2012 Insignia is one of the most intense, powerful wines of year. Dark red and black fruit, smoke, mocha, French oak, spices and leather burst from the glass in an explosive red built on texture and structure. Readers will find very little of the early appeal of 2012 here."
According to Stephen Tanzer - "(based on 75% cabernet sauvignon): Deep medium ruby. Multifaceted aromas of blackberry syrup, musky tobacco, game, chocolate and coffee are lifted by exotic flowers. Silky and seamless but at the same time vibrant and sharply delineated, with intense blue and black fruit flavors leavened by terrific floral grip. Finishes with serious, building tannins and outstanding energy and length. Very strong potential here."
According to Wine & Spirits - "This vintage of Insignia is 75 percent cabernet sauvignon, 10 percent each merlot and petit verdot, with the balance in malbec and franc. It’s Phelps’s most ambitious red, wearing its oak aging like a thick velvet curtain, but one that pulls aside to reveal deeply saturated flavors of plum, black cherry, cedar and tobacco. There’s some delicacy to the wine, apparent in a hint of lavender and rose, carried along on a gracious finish. A great vintage of Insignia, worthy of long aging in a cool cellar." 14.5% ABV.