Robert Parker, The Wine AdvocateAn ideal warm, dry spring, June and July was followed by a surprisingly cool August that slowed down what looked to be rapid sugar accumulation in the grapes. September's temperatures were average to above average, without any potentially damaging heat spikes. This allowed the harvest to unfurl slowly, with no stress or imminent danger. For many Napa Cabernet Sauvignons, this resulted in one of the top vintages of the nineties. Consumers, observers and wine critics will undoubtedly argue for decades over which vintage of the nineties turned out to be the finest – 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995 or 1997. The 1997 Insignia is a 20,000-case blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, with 60% coming from estate vineyards and 40% from growers. The alcohol came in at 13.8%. An inky/plum/purple color is accompanied by a stunning bouquet of violets, charcoal, crème de cassis and a hint of toast. Prodigious when it hits the palate with a full-bodied expansiveness, there is not a hard edge to be found in the 1997, only velvety tannins, compelling depth and fruit intensity, and stunning purity. It is a perfect expression of Napa viticulture and wine that should continue to age effortlessly for two decades or more. The Historical Tasting of Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia (1974 - 2012) November 7, 2013.