Joseph Phelps winery is located off the Silverado Trail up in the hills. As a result, the tasting room has an absolutely stunning view of the valley. Even if the wines were not great, the view alone would be worth the trip. Fortunately, JP makes some great wines. Some of the more interesting wines in the tasting included Le Mistral, the Rhone blend with primarily Syrah and Grenache, the Cab and the 100% Syrah. The star of this winery is Insignia, which is a stunning wine but very expensive (the price fluctuates but is in the $200 retail range).
This tasting visit was different than many others in the valley. The appointment only set up means no crowds, and a serenity that is not possible in the walk-in tasting rooms on busy days. While we sampled the various wines, we left the tasting room and walked around the grounds admiring the amazing view. I think the ambiance really added something very special to our enjoyment of the wines.
On our visit, we tasted the 04 Insignia which is a blend of 72% Cab, 14% Merlot, 12% Petite Verdot and 2% Malbec. While this wine was great, it definitely needed more time in the bottle. It is a big boy steak wine.
Downsides? Appointment only so no last minute visits. And if you fall for Insignia, you better have a big budget for wine buying.
Rating: 3 out of 4 – recommend