Founded in 1972, the winery and home vineyards of Joseph Phelps are located in Spring Valley near St. Helena, on a 600-acre ranch that is characterized by rolling hills, California native oaks, and 160 acres of meticulously tended vines.
Long known for his innovative spirit and passion for quality, Joe Phelps pioneered a number of 'firsts' in the early years of the winery.
The 1974 Insignia — released in the spring of 1978 — was the first Bordeaux-style blend produced in California under a proprietary label.
Le Mistral. The release of the 1974 Syrah in 1977 sparked industry-wide interest in a remarkable French varietal whose plantings in California had disappeared and been virtually forgotten for over half a century. And in 1990, after years of research, a whole new family of Rhone-style wines was introduced under the Vin du Mistral label and included Syrah, Viognier, Grenache Rosé, and a delicious red wine blend called Le Mistral.
years of studying the complex relationship between wine quality and place, and
understanding the importance of "terroir," Phelps has developed estate-owned
vineyards in the premiere growing regions of Stag's Leap, Rutherford, Oakville,
Oak Knoll and the eastern foothills of Napa.
Varietals produced annually at Phelps include Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon,
Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Insignia (one of California's most
successful first growth luxury blends), Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, several
Rhône-style wines, and a luscious dessert wine made from Scheurebe.
Joseph Phelps 2001 Insignia Napa Valley, California
With complex aromas of black cherry, plum, chocolate, currant and toasty
oak, the wine displays layers of flavor and richness that disguise its
power and longevity. Beautifully crafted and balanced, Insignia reflects a
new level of quality from both the vineyards and the growing regions.