RIP Joseph Phelps

I should open an older Phelps sometime this weekend, if anyone else is interested…


RIP - he left quite a legacy.

An icon and Insignia is one of the top wines made, period, along with the old Eiseles, which are classic California Cabernets.

Truly a loss, but what a legacy.

Enjoyed meeting him several times. Comdolences to his family. Insignia is one of California’s iconic wines. Amazing quality year in and out, and when you consider the volume of production, really extraordinary.

Very sad news. A real innovator who leaves behind a tremendous legacy of success. RIP.

Total coincidence, pulled a mag of the 02 Insignia this evening to enjoy with a dear friend tomorrow night. Will make sure to make the appropriate toast.

Drinking a '77 Backus (birth year) tonight in his honor!

Enjoy it, Alex , JP would want you to !
I love Backus also !!

RIP. An icon and maker of iconic wines.

We poured the '94 Insignia tonight at the bar.
Still absolutely delicious.
Im thankful for all the enjoyment his wines have given me over the years.


His winemaking legacy is very secure in the bottle. Over the years, I have not had a shot bottle of his early Cab’s infact most have outstanding and youthful. Outstanding aging potential. The 1990’s for sure but It is worth highlighting the 1980’s also drink great (so far) without exception. His efforts are certainly appreciated.

Very sad to hear about Joe’s death. He left quite a legacy.
I first met Joe up at the LiquorMart in Boulder in early '73 when PhilReich introduced us out on the floor.
He was still running his construction biz up there in CO. We chatted for maybe 15 min about wine. Very charming
guy I thought. Little did I know that he would go on to be famous in the wine biz. When I’d stop in at PhelpsWnry
to visit BruceNeyers (and Craig Williams), Bruce would always take me into Joe’s office to say “hello”.
One correction: The StHelena Press states that his first yr, '74, was when he first made Insignia. As I recall, it
wasn’t till a few yrs later that he made his Insignia.

Had a '02 Insignia two weeks ago…very good wine. What a legacy. RIP

Wow. The wine world will not be same with MR. Phelps. I will surely be toasting to his honor and legacy this weekend with some of his wines.

RIP. What a legend. Will have to open a 95 Insignia in his honor.

Based on CellarTracker reviews and holdings- it looks like 1974 was the start. They are glowing reviews with an average rating of 96.7 which for those who use CellarTracker know this is a very high score and certainly very impressive.

Some of his wines are what really pulled me in. RIP