• Auction Napa Valley E-Auction Lot #372: Celebrate the 40th Vintage of Insignia

    Auction Napa Valley exemplifies the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors in Napa County and has given more than $150 million in strategic financial support for community health and children’s education since 1981. During this year's Auction Napa Valley E-Auction, Joseph Phelps Vineyards proudly donated lot #372. We thank you for your continued support of our wines and community.

    Celebrate The 40th Vintage of Insignia ~ E-lot #372

    In 1974, Joseph Phelps created Insignia, California’s first proprietary Bordeaux-style blend. Each vintage would be a blend of the best grapes from a given year, initially from both grower and estate fruit, and beginning with the 2004 vintage, from entirely estate-grown vineyards.

    In 2013, winemaker Ashley Hepworth blended  88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc from six estate vineyards to create this milestone 40th vintage of Insignia. The 2013 label also pays homage to the original Insignia logo design with a special 40th vintage mark.

    The successful bidder of this lot will receive a signed Imperial (6 liter) of 2013 Insignia in a commemorative wood box. Additionally, the winning bidder and five guests are invited to visit the winery for a private tour and seven vintage Insignia Vertical Tasting to include 2008-2013 Insignia, plus the yet to be bottled 2014 vintage. Celebrate a Napa Valley icon forty years in the making.

    Tour and tasting to be hosted on a mutually agreed upon date. 

    The e-auction opens on Sunday, May 29, and concludes on Sunday, June 5, 2016.

  • Joseph Phelps Vineyards Announces Family Promotions as Part of Long-Term Succession Plan

    As part of a long-term succession plan implemented by the Phelps family to maintain family ownership and management, Joseph Phelps Vineyards is pleased to announce the promotion of Elizabeth Neuman to Director of Business Development and Will Phelps to Director of Marketing. Members of the family’s third generation, Neuman and Phelps were additionally appointed to the executive management team of Joseph Phelps Vineyards and will participate in all senior management business matters. This appointment of third generation family members to the executive management team is a significant move in a long-term succession plan that began with the involvement of the family’s second generation in 1998, the hiring of a family business advisor in 2012, and the appointment of two independent members to the Board of Directors in 2013.

    “Our family is committed to maintaining and nurturing Joseph Phelps Vineyards as a family-owned and run winery. I am thrilled to have Elizabeth and Will assume leadership roles within our family’s wine business,” said Bill Phelps, President of Joseph Phelps Vineyards.

    Granddaughter of Joe Phelps, Elizabeth Neuman was the first member of her generation to join the family wine business, beginning in 2011. She joined the winery as a sales representative and received a promotion in 2013 to Regional Sales Manager, representing Joseph Phelps Vineyards in seven markets on the East Coast and Midwest. Neuman graduated from Lehigh University earning a degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining Joseph Phelps, Neuman held the position of Wine Consultant at Southern Wine & Spirits’ fine wine division. She is currently studying for her Executive MBA.

    Grandson of Joe Phelps and son of winery President Bill Phelps, Will Phelps was the second member of his generation to join the family wine business, beginning in 2012. He previously held a sales representative position within the company, supporting sales and distribution of Joseph Phelps wines in California. Phelps attended the University of San Diego, earning a degree in Business Administration. He held a Regional Sales Manager position with Trinitas Cellars that included responsibilities in Southern California and the Midwest prior to joining Joseph Phelps. In 2015, he received an Executive Wine MBA from Sonoma State University.

  • Insignia Retrospective Tasting with Stephen Tanzer

    Winemaker Ashley Hepworth recently hosted Stephen Tanzer of Antonio Galloni's Vinous for a 19-vintage Insignia retrospective tasting. The event culminated with 2013 Insignia, the winery's 40th vintage of this iconic Napa Valley wine. A few highlights from the tasting: 

    1999 Joseph Phelps Insignia - 95+ points: (the first vintage of Insignia made with some Malbec; from a late harvest providing long hang time): Dark red-ruby. Dark nose offers inviting notes of cassis, black cherry, cocoa powder, leather and game; the first of these wines to show a strong floral element. Juicy, gripping and extremely complex, with a beautiful sugar/acid balance contributing to the impression of inner-mouth spine and energy. A wonderfully elegant, European-styled Insignia that conveys outstanding flavor intensity and depth without any impression of weight. Finishes with suave tannins and terrific length. This still-youthful wine should continue to gain in complexity.

    2010 Joseph Phelps Insignia - 95+ points: (a growing season with a late bloom and late veraison but more consistent temperatures than either 2009 or 2011): Bright, dark ruby. Very young, brilliantly pure aromas of dark fruits and strong minerality. Then wonderfully juicy but youthfully imploded, conveying an impression of weightlessness to its penetrating flavors of cassis, blackberry, minerals, dark chocolate and flowers. Savory, sappy, rather masculine wine with terrific precision and energy but still folded in on itself today. Finishes suave, vibrant and very long, with sophisticated fine-grained tannins in perfect harmony with the wine's fruit. Very little Suscol fruit went into the blend as it was too green, according to Hepworth.

    2013 Joseph Phelps Insignia - 95 points: (this wine was bottled at the beginning of February and will not be released until September; from an earlier harvest than 2012, featuring higher tannin levels): Black fruits and violet on the nose, complemented by spicecake and nutty oak. Boasts outstanding purity and density of fruit but the wine's superb sweetness is nicely controlled by its sheer juicy concentration and spice character. Conveys great inner-mouth tension owing to its firm acidity and strong underlying minerality. A terrific early showing considering the recent bottling, with a high-pitched floral element that contributes to the wine's weightless impression. The tannins are beautifully integrated with the fruit but it's hard to imagine that this wine won't shut down at some point. The long, rising finish spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate. Winemaker Ashley Hepworth noted that it was warmer on the home ranch in 2013 than in 2012 but not everywhere elsewhere in Napa Valley??. maybe more closed than the 12.

    We invite you to read Mr. Tanzer's complete report HERE. 

News Archive

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