Bid on this bottle of 1978 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Proprietary Red (95RP, 93WS, 94JG). Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The fabulous 1978 appears to be even stronger than I remember. A dense plum/garnet color is accompanied by an exceptional bouquet of espresso beans, sweet red and black currants, licorice, lead pencil shavings and cedar. Deep, ripe, full-bodied and opulent with oodles of fruit and glycerin, this beauty is fresh and lively. Although fully mature, it appears capable of lasting another decade or more. "
This lot contains the following items:
1978 Joseph Phelps "Insignia" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (qty: 1)
Drinking Joseph Phelps reds from the decade of the 1970s is one of the great treats in the world of wine. 1978 was one of the earliest iterations for this Bordeaux-inspired blend from the winery, which was composed of a blend of fifty percent cabernet sauvignon, thirty percent merlot and twenty percent cabernet franc. The wine was fully mature when I last saw a bottle in 2007, but time has not touched it and today it is every bit as vibrant and expressive. The bouquet is deep, complex and very classy, wafting from the glass in a mix of cassis, sweet blackberries, dark soil tones, a bit of tariness, cigar smoke, a dollop of fresh herbs and a beautiful topnote of mint. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and vibrant, with a superb core, impressive focus and balance, fine-grained and now quite modest tannins, good acids and lovely balance on the long, complex and velvety finish. A beautiful wine at its apogee and one where I clearly underestimated its potential longevity the last time I had a chance to drink it. (Drink between 2016-2050)
The fabulous 1978 appears to be even stronger than I remember. A dense plum/garnet color is accompanied by an exceptional bouquet of espresso beans, sweet red and black currants, licorice, lead pencil shavings and cedar. Deep, ripe, full-bodied and opulent with oodles of fruit and glycerin, this beauty is fresh and lively. Although fully mature, it appears capable of lasting another decade or more. In 1978, heavy rains finally returned to Napa Valley, replenishing drought-stricken soils and helping to fill the reservoirs. The summer growing season was relatively warm with some heat spikes during the last two weeks of September, which forced growers to harvest earlier than expected. The 1978's final blend was 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, with 32% from estate vineyards and 68% from growers. Fifty-five percent of the fruit came from Oakville vineyards, 20% from the Spring Valley Vineyard in St. Helena, 13% from the Eisele Vineyard and 12% from their new Backus Vineyard in Oakville. Total production was 1,200 cases, and the natural alcohol came in at 13.5%. The wine’s time in barrel was extended dramatically to 24 months in French oak. (RP)
Mature, but aging quite well. Complex, with an intriguing array of flavors ranging from ripe, stewed plum to herb, sage, tobacco, cedar and spice. Turns elegant on the finish, where the tannins are soft and mellow... A blend: 50 Percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 percent Merlot and 20 percent Cabernet Franc. (JL)