21 April 2015

Joseph Phelps Insignia 2009

I received this bottle of Joseph Phelps Insignia 2009 as a gift from a client after a challenging, but ultimately quite successful, event at work. I'd been saving it for some time, and my thirty-first birthday seemed like a nice occasion.

I decanted the wine before serving it in Riedel Sommelier's Collection Bordeaux glasses, which I save for powerful wines like this.

Joseph Phelps Insignia 2009 is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, and 4% Malbec.

As an aside, I don't think I've ever had a wine that was pure Petit Verdot, and suddenly I wonder what it would be like. I must research this.

Anyway: Insignia was a dark, inky purple in the glass, with a nose full of oak, smoky meats, and tart black cherries.

The taste was a bit lighter than the nose for me, with sour cherries replacing the black. It had a sharp, racy acidity that melted seamlessly into smooth, rounded tannins—a transformation I don't believe I've ever been so aware of appreciating before. It was truly nice.

The finish lingered on a tingly, licorice note.

All in all, it was a superb bottle. My friends and I enjoyed it with a spread of cheeses (consisting of Fresh Mozzerella; Beecher's Marco Polo; Drunken Goat; Reypenaer One-Year Aged Gouda; Double-Cream Brie; Cambozola; and a baked St. André Triple-Cream Brie), pretzel bread, and Fuji apples.

Birthday achieved.