1994 Joseph Phelps Insignia, Napa Valley ($65).Two years...

Wine of the week

December 28, 1997|By Michael Dresser

1994 Joseph Phelps Insignia, Napa Valley ($65).

Two years ago, this Bordeaux-style blend astonished me at a tasting in Washington, where I thought it was the best California barrel sample I had ever tasted. Now that it is bottled and on the market, it has lost none of its incredible concentration, supple texture, enthralling complexity and captivating charm. It is simply loaded with flavor: black currant, black cherry, exotic spices, raspberry, smoked meat and cedar. It is so appealing now that you might think it couldn't age, but there's plenty of tannin lurking behind the enormous fruit. Phelps' long track record shows an average Insignia can develop over 20 years -- and this is no average Insignia.

Pub Date: 12/28/97

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