Friday, October 24, 2014

Napa Wine Tour: Joseph Phelps!

Sorry for the delay in posting the last two entries from our Napa wine tour; I've been fighting the flu this week and losing quite badly. Anyway, hopefully it is going to start subsiding sometime in the next few days. Hopefully.

For now, my notes on some terrific wine we enjoyed at Joseph Phelps. They are undergoing a massive and I mean MASSIVE re-doing of their tasting room, and they have us in a temporary location, but even so, they have gone out of their way to ensure a comfortable, first-class tasting experience.

Tasting here isn't cheap (where in Napa IS it cheap?), but it's worth it for a large and tasty lineup of wines, including two vintages of their high-end signature wine, Insignia.

2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($35.00)

Aromas of honey, orange and lemon. Fruity with very balanced acidity. 87.

2012 Chardonnay, Freestone Vineyards ($55.00)

Floral notes intertwined with stone fruits and oak. Beautifully lush mouthfeel. Well balanced and buttery with a spectacular long finish. 90.

2012 Viognier ($35.00)

Peaches and stone fruits on the nose and palate. Light and fruity. To me, Viognier has to be just perfect to get my attention, and although this one is nice, it doesn't knock me over. 85.

2010 Pinot Noir Quarter Moon Vineyard ($75.00)

Raspberry, blueberries, savory herbs and earth on the nose and palate. A touch of mocha and spice on the finish. Lovely and if you prefer your Pinot Noir a tad bit on the earthy side, this is for you. 89.

2012 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast ($55.00)

Almost purple in colour, very fruity and delicious. Blueberries, cassis and a touch of spice. Black cherry and a bit of forest as well. Long, persistent finish. Just beautiful. 90.

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($70.00)

Maybe the wine most of us know this winery for. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a bit of Merlot and Petit Verdot to round it out. The nose brings some leather, tobacco, blueberries and cigar box. The palate is greeted by plums and cherries, with some leather and fresh thyme. As with most good Napa Cabs, this one needs a while in the bottle to fully develop to it's true potential. But, oh, what potential. 89.

2011 Insignia ($225.00)

82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 2% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. 100% impressive.

Strong notes of blueberry, strawberry and blackberry. A hint of tobacco. Silkiest mouthfeel imaginable; coats your entire mouth beautifully. Will age gracefully for a decade or more but it's already drinking very well. 93.

2006 Insignia ($240.00)

Some will argue "at that price, it BETTER be good" and I guess that's true, but any wine lover knows that price is not always a true representation of quality.

This one is 95% Cab Sauv with 5% Petit Verdot. Inky and opaque in colour. Lots of black fruit and strawberry on the nose and palate. Some graphite, cocoa and cola on the palate. Smooth, beautiful finish. Superb. 94.

Another beautiful experience that I would recommend to all of you going to Napa. And all the wines are good, so if you see them in stores near you, snap them up!