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La Place releases: Joseph Phelps Insignia 2018

By September 14, 2021Fine Wine Market, Releases, USA

The 2018 Insignia from Napa Valley producer Joseph Phelps has been released, “one of the best ever” according to James Suckling.

  • The wine has been released internationally for £1,956 per 12×75. 
  • “One of the best Insignias ever,” according to James Suckling.  
  • Vintages 2009, 2013 and 2016 offer very good value for money. 


Joseph Phelps Insignia 2018 has been released for €154 per bottle ex-négociant, an increase of 6.9% on the 2017’s initial offer (€144). 

The wine is being offered internationally for £1,956 per 12×75 case, up 1.9% on the 2017 release price (£1,920).  

Production in 2018 amounts to 17,000 cases. The first vintage of Insignia was 1974; it was one of the first Bordeaux blends produced in California. 

Critical opinion

Today’s release received 97+ points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Advocate). She commented that the 2018 “demonstrates remarkable balance at this youthful stage”. 

The wine also boasts 99-points from James Suckling, who described it as “full-bodied with ultra-fine, dusty tannins and a wonderful, extremely long finish”. 

Jane Anson awarded it 97-points and found “a ton of interest and spice” in the wine. She added: “I am always a fan of this wine, and love that it showcases the history and quality of Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa”. 

Fair Value

There are a number of back vintages, available in the market for less. The similarly scored 2009 (WA 97), for instance, costs 30% less than today’s release.  

The 2013, boasting 98+ from Robert Parker, comes at 8.5% discount. The 2016 looks particularly good value with 99-points from The Wine Advocate, and at £1,722 per case. 

Other releases

The second wine of Insignia, Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, was also released today at €44 per bottle ex-négociant. It is being offered by the international trade for £564 per 12×75. Thirty-six thousand cases were made. 

The wine received 96-points from James Suckling, 93-points from Antonio Galloni (Vinous) and a barrel range of 91-93 from Perrotti-Brown MW. 

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