Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2007 Joseph Phelps Insignia

Received an e-mail from my buddy Brandon today at te Joe Canal's on Route 1 in Lawrenceville, letting me know that they were tasting the 2007 Joseph Phelps Insignia. Being just a few minutes away, I got home from work, changed, and headed on over to see who the fruit was showing, and just how much oak and alcohol were covering this ine.

Walked in and was greeted by the woman hosting the tasting.  I hadn't seen her before, and when I did see her, she made the comment as to whether or not I wanted to taste the two other wines, or just the Insignia.  At first, I was a bit offended thinking she thought I was just some random customer who wanted to try an expensive wine, but after seeing the other customers behavior, I didn't blame her a bit.  Many people were there just to taste the Insignia, which is kind of sad.  But these are also people who probably wouldn't drop $150 on a bottle of wine, so to each their own.

Regardless, I first tasted the 2008 Cakebread sauvignon blanc which is a solid wine year in, year out.  Next we tasted a Plumpjack chardonnay, but I didn't get the vintage.  I can only assume it was a 2008, but may have been a 2007.

On to the Insignia I had asked how long it had been open, and instead of just spitting out a random BS number, she asked me what time it was.  I like this woman!  Needless to say, she said it was opened for just over an hour, and about 1/4 of the bottle was gone.

Poured into your typical thick rimmed, small tasting glass, this showed a nice dark purple-ish color in the glass.  I swirled it around in my glass for a minute or two, and during this timeframe I was amazed at how many people came up, and just wanted to get right to the Insignia. They could careless about the Cakebread or the Plumpjack, and in my opinion these are both good wines. They just wanted to get to the big dog, and it was funny to see them suck it down, and then see them walk away, not even thinking of buying. One of the guys asked me what I thought, and I told him that it needed 5-10 years. He looked at me as though I was crazy and said it was the best wine he's ever had. But he also had a bunch of bottles of Ruffino chianti in his basket....


On the nose, first thing I noticed were the sweet vanilla tones.  This immediately tells me that I could be flossing out some oak splinters, but we'll see!

The fruit profile was there, with nice dark fruits, but again, the fruit took second seat to the sweet, creamy vanilla.  Black currants and cassis, along with blueberry and blackberry dominate the nose.  Some mellow spice, mocha, and oak round out the nose.

On the palate, I was prepared to be tasting an over-oaked wine here, and ready to get slapped in the face.  But even so, that was not the case.  But don't get me wrong, there was plenty of oak here.

For once, the palate really seemed to meet the same profile as the nose.  Again nice currants and cassis with dark fruits.  Secondary tones of plum and blackberry, with some sweetness, vanilla, and spice. 

Plenty of backbone on the mid-palate, and the finish definitely has some gripping, chewy tannins, and just a bit of alcohol.  Long and short of it, this wine has all the potential, but is far to young.  No score today, but 92-95 points possible with time on the rack.  I'd hold 7-10 years to give the oak time to integrate, but that is just me.  This will be fabulous with age!

Cheers, and kudos to Brandon and Toni at Joe Canal's Lawrenceville for the heads up!  -F. Scott.

Joe Canal's Discount Liquor Outlet
3375 US RT 1 South
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Phone:  (609)520-0008
http://www.joecanals.com/lawrenceville.html
http://www.ultimatewineshop.com/

1 comment:

chris said...

Nice tasting notes for the Insignia. We opened a bottle of 2000 Insignia a couple of weeks ago, definitely better with age. Will hold onto my 2007's for awhile before touching them