Notes form 3/14/2015: Was 1 of 7 CA Bordeaux blends we had. This was one of everyone's favorite. Very smooth, balance with firm grippy tannins that needs foods. While the wine is excellent now, the tannins need more time (5 to 10?) to resolve.
The color is inky-garnet, very dense and opaque. The smells are raspberry, blueberry, currants, and menthol. The tastes are black olive, blackberry, spices, cacao, and lead pencil. The tannins are stout and velvety with nice acidity and a long finish.
Better than the last bottle. We let this decant for 5+ hours. I have found with the Insignias they are usually better the second day. This was pretty good. Still lots of oak throughout that I didn't care for. Good dark fruit. Very dark color and a little heat on the finish initially. Over all a good wine but perhaps over priced at $200. There are much better bottles out there for that price.
Robert's 50th (A Tastey Restaurant): The last wine of the night. What a great way to go out. The nose has cassis and some cedar. A bit of coffee grounds. Great lush texture. Just a delicious wine. I was sadly not spitting and at my limit, but I had to have a glass of this and wished for more. Still quite young and will improve a bit I think, but great now. Fruit and texture. Balance. Long finish.
This wine did not impress, perhaps it is in a dumb stage, but the last bottle of Phelps I had was similar. A reticent wine, does not willing share its bounty, one gets the hint that something very good is afoot, but the wine never delivers on the promise.
Enough of the Montrose already. This wine is singing and brought me back to great plum and black cherry fruit which my palate needed after 11 vintages of Montrose. Great call on Ira's part!!! Winner winner chicken dinner.
Tasting Group Holiday Party (Lee Road): My WOTN. This is drinking quite young but with air it really kicks butt. A sample at the end of the night was even better. Inky purple in color. The nose has cassis, coffee grounds and pencil lead. Lush texture that makes it hard not to guzzle the wine. Tight complex layering. Great balance. Long finish. Hold these a few more years if you can.
Way too young. Drank over two nights and never opened up. Dark red in the glass...nose is too hot...chalky, dusty on the open w/ minimal fruit and no finish. Likely (hopefully) this will be showing better in 3-5 years.
May be way early on this one. Obviously serious, high quality wine, but this was so dense my few, scattered taste buds couldn't appreciate what may have been going on in between all the compressed layers. I think this needs three or four years at minimum, but will age a long time. Wait.
Popped without decant and drank 1.5 hours later. Inky blackness. Big nose. Huge flavor of blackberries and currants. Smooth on the palate and fulfilling. Good, medium tail. Some heat and port-like as one taster described it. Probably not at its best right now, but drinking well enough in any case. I love these wines.
Almost black in the glass. Huge bouquet of blueberry, black currant, liqueur, and dark chocolate. Full bodied and extremely rich. Almost port-like. Really good balance and overall delicious wine. Drinks well at this point but will be better in 3-5 years. 94+
Very dark and concentrated wine, with quite a bit of structure coming through right out of the bottle. Definitely some firm & gripping tannins but nicely integrated with a lot of dark fruit. This has a lot of life ahead of it, it's drinking well now but I think it could use a bit more time in the bottle or a decanter. EDIT -- I increased my score from 94 to 96 after giving this an hour to open up. Huge improvement! No more bite on the finish, really fantastic wine now!
An intoxicating nose of dark fruit, charcoal smoke and pepper spice. Velvety smooth on the palate with harmonious flavors of black ripe raspberries, cedar and black pepper. A wonderful fruit dominating smooth and lengthy finish with soft tannins. Cranking great now with enough tannic structure and fruit for many more great years.
Tasted at Joseph Phelps Winery. I was told that it was decanted for an hour then rebottled an hour ago. Medium body, medium fruit which, typical of most '06 high quality Napa wines. Medium finish, very silky smooth. Reminds me of '06 Maybach.
Dark purple hue w/ bright purple rim. Nose of dark berry, currants/cassis, spicy berry and graphite. Big, bold but elegant and becoming harmonious and well integrated. Soft and silky on the front w/ racy and tightly wound tannins on the mid palate and finish. Wild dark berries, currants, spice / heat leading to a developing long finish that will get better with 5 - 10+ years.
In a very good place right now. The thing I would say was the strong point was it was fully in balance with everything sorted out. Less hot than I recall from other bottles of this one in a good way of course.
Tasty, yeah. Watching my heat destroy the bobcats. PnP and it was a little dumb to start off but then took off. Secondary notes just starting to expose themselves. Mature dark fruits with a thick and chewy mid pallet. Lots of layers and full of life. It will only get better.
Souper à la Chronique: Un nez de moka, avec du fruit noir. Bouche qui affiche une très belle structure et une finesse de tanins mais ...encore très boisée. C'est un vin pur et droit, au magnifique potentiel. S'il digère tout ce bois il sera vraiment très grand, dans un style d'une droiture presque bordelaise. 94 (+?). À revoir dans 5-10 ans
(Blind Home Wine Tasting of '03,'04,'05 and '06 Insignia) Most had this as second wine--I had it last. Not because it was not good, but I thought it suffered as being too young and needing more time. I think it will be great in a couple of years. Tannins still a little tight--but is full bodied and has complexity of flavors.
Nose of currant, violet, flowers and black/wild berry. Big, beautiful & soft but needs a ton of time for tannins to integrate. Racy berry fruit, currants, spice,acidity and tannins. Heat from the alcohol that needs time as well. Finish is a bit tight as well. Very good but will be great in another 3 - 7 years.
Ate with Filet & Salmon dinner. Fantastic in the mouth with deep current, cherry and chocolate notes. Opened 1-1/2 hrs before dinner and still was tight at the beginning of the meal but opened up by the end.
Still very young. After a 4 hour decant still tight and noticeable tannins that have not resolved yet although not harsh by any means. Will be a beauty when integrated, ample fruit and complexity...but for now will wait a couple more years before opening more.
NR- Really split on this wine tonight. At times had the signiture Insignia nose and nice complexity wrapped by pleasant fruit but then tended to close down and became very steely with charred wood and black tea flavors. Never amazing as other Insignias I've had but then became just unpleasant by the end. Had a 2+ hour decant. Maybe its just 2006 fruit...
We scored the 2006 in a five year vertical (2005 to 2009). Amazingly, the 2006 won the unanimous vote for best of the five, easily beating the 2007. We suspect that the 2007 needs some age to come around, but the 2006 was the winner last night. Wow!
This is one wine I always enjoy drinking--whatever the vintage. This vintage has reached pretty much full maturity--a pleasant full nose, strong legs slowing dripping down the sides of the glass, nicely developed fruits, and smooth tannins.
(Deals/Genka Gastronomy Fair, J. Phelps Backus & Insignia mini vertical, Intercontinental Hotel) This is a blend of 95% CS and 5% Petit Verdot, inox fermenting tanks, 22 months in oak, total production of 192.000 btl. Oh '06, we meet again ! Gorgeous nose, multilayered filled with black fruits, lum and berries, black olivess, sweetly toasted vanilla and nutmeg. Round in the palate, as sweet as I remember it to be, enough acidity to offer excellent balance, welcoming spicy notes with nutmeg and cinnamon now, rich fruity character and body, medium to long aftertaste. A crowd pleasing and straightforward wine. If only it was cheaper !!
Second bottle is also sumptuous luxurious full bodied velvet dark fruit. Cocoa And cherry like a black forest cake. Tannins more pronounced here than I care for and I will age the other bottles for another 1-2 years. There is softness but a tooth staining mouth drying bite at the finish.
Powerfull and delicious wine. Potent nose of red fruits that popped out of the glass. Firm tannins, full-bodied and well structured, yet velvety, with notes currant jelly and cherries. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot.
While it was a pleasure to drink, I think it could use a few more years to peak or flush out the midpalate a bit. I would give it a good decant (1+ hours) as it evolved well over 2 - 3 hours. Dark black fruit dominant with very good complexity and balance, the sweet notes in the midpalate have not fully grown but did see hints of cocoa and vanilin. mid 90s but with a few more years it will get better. -S
Drinking well right now. Decanted briefly and then enjoyed over 4 hours. Smooth and balanced with a bit of berry and cassis on the palate. Good long fishing with lots of depth as it evolved in the mouth.
14.5% ABV. Opened this NYE and tasted over the course of a couple days hoping for some improvement. Somewhat translucent dark garnet in the glass. Somewhat woody on the nose with nuances of cocoa and currant. Medium full bodied with some tannin still hanging around. Seems styled more in the vein of Bordeaux (e.g., old world) than I typically expect with Insignia. Not bad, but a bit disappointing based on hopes/expectations. Little changed day two, but perhaps a bit more accessible.
Only 20 minutes of decanting time. Not enough. The wine started out closed, with beautiful dark crimson color and very subdued nose. As dinner wore on the wine opened beautifully and you could smell and taste dark berries, a little plum and chocolate. The wine is very elegant and in a more toned down style than I am used to in Insignia. But the end result is a great food wine that lives up to it's reputation.
Drank Christmas night beside the Insignia 07 both served from multiple 375 ml bottles. Of the two, the 07 was clearly superior,and the 06 ptresented as a bit disorganized and murky; almost "younger" of the two. Both will benefit from substantially more cellar time, and the 06 plums, cassis, and rootlike qualities will become more prevelant and pleasing rather than running into each other as at present. Dark garnet purple.
Insignia is one of my and possibly my favorite wine. Always amazing and I have not had a vintage that I haven't loved. This 2006 is drinking great. Decanted about an hour but it was very nice even just after decanting. Not sure what it would have been like after the hour because it was ll gone by then but I assume it would have continued to improve. This 2006 is definitely ready to enjoy now and I think it will hold up for many more years with proper cellaring.
Previous reviews have it right. Parker has it at 95+, and it has all the core characteristics of an Insignia, but it hasn't quite come together yet (maybe never?) it is by no means unpleasant, but doesn't have the lush, balanced beauty of several older Insignias. Maybe a couple of more years will help.
The 06 was the awkward teenager at the Insignia dinner. A fantastic wine that was disjointed in comparision to the 02, 05, 07 and 08. I'd be interested to see what this wine is like in another 4 or 5 years. Delicious none the less.
Had this wine alongside '02, '05, '07 and '08 Insignias. After 6hours in the decanter. Splitting hairs really, but this Insignia displayed the roughest tannins of the bunch. The profiles on all the wines was very consistent. Notes of blackberry, cassis and some spice. Rich fruit in the mouth, consistent with the nose. This needs more time in the bottle.
A little bit closed on the nose. Big wet juicy dark plum flavours collapsing to a generic sweet fruit. Flat and cool cabernet flavours on the mid-palate but sweet and fading on the finish. Very drinkable but still pretty tannic. A bit messy.
Excellent bottle, but maybe not quite what one expects from a Phelps Insignia. Everything - nose, balance, finish - were very solid. Maybe it's just not quite ready. Good news......there's more, so I'll get to test that theory.
Similar notes as last tasting. A nice well structured wine. Lighter and more supple than other Insignia. The fruit is great, nice spice. Some minerality but the finish needed some balance. A bit disjointed the wine was really nice, but not as great as other vintages I've sampled once again.
This is really a great wine. Especially if left to breath and open up over time. Popped and poured and enjoyed last Friday. Nice. Left in cellar for 3 days and finished on Monday and was FANTASTIC. Unfortuante that many of these bottles are consumed too quickly when opened!! Pop and wait is a great strategy but hard to do. ENJOY!!
Plush layers of fresh blackberry, dark cherry jam, coffee, bitter chocolate and boysenberry, ripe tannins and a silky, ripe, vanilla tinged, fruit forward finish are found in this vintage of Phelps Insignia.
My first Insignia, decanted for 2 hours, nice nose of berries and cherries, medium finish, some complexity but I expected more from an Insignia, very good Bordeaux type blend but it did not wow me, needs to do more for $125/bottle I paid, I am hoping 07 and 08 I have will be better
Popped in celebration of Univ of KS taking down Missouri in college hoops!! ROCK CHALK!! Very pleasing on the open, great bouquet, very nice day one. Finished day 2 and was FANTASTIC. Great finish, really smooth. Can't wait until next opening!!
Not as powerful or concentrated as the 2008 that we tasted at Phelps. More feminine and elegant. lush layers of cassis fruit, graphite, and wood. This is drinking well now. tannins are gentle and silky. while this is great, the 2008 has more potential.
Decanted through a Vinturi and let rest for about 90 minutes. Previously had this wine about 18 months ago and looking at that old note I'd have to say that this time around it was a bit more mellow without as much mocha / vanilla influence. Still has impeccable balance and texture but also seems to be in a bit of a dumb phase at the moment. The extended aeration did help quite a bit. Hold the rest for another year or two.
Tasted back-to-back with the '08 Insignia at The Wine Club in San Francisco. Straight from bottle, not decanted. Honestly -- a good wine but if I had tasted this blind I would've guessed it was in the $30 range and not $150. Lacking in the mid-palate and finish. Great fruit and firm tannins but a bit one dimensional.
A wow wine starting a great window. Dark purple and inky, the wine displayed nice notes of boysenberry and blackberry. Very broad midpallet with layers of flavors and generous weight. Tannins were silky smooth. Long and lasting finish. Great with the filet at the capital grill on Brickell,
A bright ruby wine with a nose brimming with black cherry, spice box and a floral hint in the background, maybe violets. Silky smooth in the mouth and bursting with black cherry black currant and lightly toasted oak. The finish has more of the same, but hangs in there for really impressive length. This is just stellar.
Purchased by the glass at Market 17. Sweet, silky, lush and fully ready. Fragrant, berry patch. The Pichon-Lalande of California. About $180 per bottle at retail. But I can't imagine it could last for long.
Off hand, as expected, the wine was still very tight and was slow to reveal its flavors. The nose had dark berry and currant aromas with hints of cocoa. Structure is very focused, firm, rich and concentrated all the way to the very end. Flavors of dark berries comprise the core surrounded by chocolate, graphite, olives, and oak. The longer it stays in the glass the nose becomes more ethereal and really special. Espresso, perfumed berries, black tea eventually unravel. If you can't wait, give an hour to decant. Otherwise, drink from 2014 to 2030.
From .375 to check in with this. The wine is quite concentrated and dark. Nose of chocolate covered strawberries and not much else going on at this time. Tannins are firm, wine has good balance. It just needs time.... a lot of time. I enjoyed the wine, but am reserving score for future judgement. If I had to put a range on developed score I would say 92-94.
I was expecting a big ripe jammy wine, having just had the 91 Insignia but I was wrong, and delightfully so. It drank wonderfully despite how young it was. with massive amounts of dark fruit, creamy oak, and overall quite bordeaux-like in restraint. Loved it.
Not so many notes, but this is a very complete wine with good, ripe black fruits, beautiful oak, soft tannin and acidity, great concentration and a long finish. Very harmonious wine with good complexity. 94+
Excellent treat! On the pop and pour obviously a little young and very harsh overpowering chalky oak taste. After a double Venturi and 3 1/2 hour decant this wine was a entirely new animal. Licorice,chocolate,jam..smooth and supple. Flavors indescribable bounced all around the mouth! As we finished our filets and broke out the dark chocolate and the wine was In it's 5th hour, once again tasted like an entirely new wine...loved it!
14.5% ABV. Somewhat translucent dark garnet in the glass. Chocolate and cocoa predominant on the nose. Medium full bodied with rich red and black currant fruit with some moderate structure still hanging around with some woody notes. I had high expectations for this wine, and it was good, but it did ultimately leave me a little disappointed. I think I was expecting more of a Shafer HSS plushness and it delivers a different experience.
Deep dark purple, almost all fruit (red cherry, black olives and vanilla, almost Dr. Pepper) at this stage and surprisngly one-dimensional, with no real earthiness because sweetness dominates the palate. I think this wine may be great someday, but it is too young right now. I'd wait at least 3 more years (2014) before I would open another bottle.
Off the cork pull it has a rather high gradient of oak to the nose. So its not integrated. But hell, it was just opened and its young.
Very dark ruby in color, youthful. On the nose: there is lots of fruit in there, kirsch, blackberries, and then sawdust, rough sawn oak, and toast.
On the palate: either my palate is off or the bottle needs to calm down but this is a pretty wacky wine. Tastes acidified, and noticeably so. The acid character is above the fruit, and very proud, almost volitile. Finish is driven by its acid and tannin character right now. Again, all this could mean it just needs time. We shall see. Being tasted along side '06 Groth and '06 Bond Vencia.
Clash of the Titans, Napa Cabernet Sauvignon tasting (Red Slate, Portland, Oregon): The nose reminds me of an after dinner scene. Dark cherries and fresh cut oranges have been served for dessert, and they make up the forefront on the nose. In the background are some steak drippings from the empty plate on the table, and a bit of cigarette smoke from a few tables over. This is very approachable already with juicy apples and super dark blackberries showing right away. The balanced tannins are full, but they never become too dominant. The apples are crisp and delicious on the mid palate. The acidity is full and brilliantly balanced from the mid palate to the final grip over 20 seconds out on the finish. The blackberries linger long as well and it inspires some thought as the experience evolves. 92+
Open red nose, with some Christmas cookie. Smooth, juicy, slightly closed. But very, very simple. It tasted like it was half Insignia and half Two-Buck Chuck - beauty underneath, but just not coming out. $200
Insignia vertical, Genka Wine Fair. Dark purple. Very typical Napa cab nose with ripe plums, blackberries, anise, mint, cedar and vanilla. Still quite youthful. Full-bodied, rich with opulent fruit, sweetness, soft tanins and balancing acidity. Long finish. Needs time to gain in roundness and loose some of its vigor.
A bit too early to drink this one. Decanted for about 4 hours, but wine was still big and tannic. This seems to be closing off the berry flavors which are below the surface right now. Even so, the wine could be enjoyed in its current state with the knowledge there is so much more to come.
When i approached the tasting table, the bottle they had first opened had just poured its last drop, so I had to taste from a freshly opened bottle that had barely two minutes of breathing and swirling in my glass, so do take note.
Nose: As expected being fresh from a just opened bottle, a tight nose. Giving off slight amounts of vanilla and graphite with loads of concentrated fruit that was rather appealing
Taste: A very big wine, big tannins. Notes of a rich Christmas fruitcake, vanilla and cherries were detected. This would have to breathe for a couple more hours. But even at this stage I could see the high quality and skill that was put into this wine. It's just the price that scares me.
Culina : Our Wines, Our Style (J.W.Mariott Hotel): Alcohol : 14.5% Quite tight nose of welcoming tobacco, cigar box, cook meat, blackberry and licorice. Full body, large-scale, huge concentration with lots of ripe and spicy dark fruits framed by the mouth coating fine-grained powdery tannins that is well balance by the high-level acidity that giving good depth and structure which flow into a complex, long finish that linger effortlessly. Still a new world / California Cab but the class and style here is fabulous. This required another 10-15yrs to evolve, at the very least. A great wine, sadly, way out of my budget. Buy - No
This was a very good wine - a little over the top and very California like in style. Very strong nose of oak and dark fruits. The wine is rich and concentrated with flavor; has depth and complexity, more so than any other Cali Cab I have drunk. Very nice overall.
Tasted at a Joseph Phelps portfolio industry tasting. Currants, figs, pencil shavings on the nose. Much smoother and approachable than the 2007. Smooth dark fruit, cola and tobacco. Nice smooth earthy finish. Didn't have the heft or mouthfeel I was looking for. Was full bodied, but didn't have that mouth coating feeling I was hoping for.
Served by John McMahon with barbecue ribs in Dallas. From memory: WOW! Dark purple. Nose of dark fruit and cedar. Medium to full palate of juicy ripe dark fruit, meat and toasty oak. Wonderful length. Pleasant acidity. Supple tannins. Still youthful, but this is an amazing, outstanding, beautifully balanced wine.
Blackish red color. Aromas of ripe cherry, currant, bacon, black olives, and oak. Good feel and balance. Ripe fruits stand up to fresh acid, alcohol, and mature tannins. Long smooth tannins with long finish. Really good but put your money towards the 2007.
Hadn't tasted this California legend before tonight and I was surprised that it wasn't as big as I expected - much more subdued and supple. Loses a little structure on the mid-palate, but good dark fruit, butterscotch and cedar, with great acidity and finish.
Bliind tasted with other high end Napa cabs. This is actually the 4th time I've tasted this vintage, but this is the first time blind. It's been very consitent Inky and impressive in color and taste. long finish with great integration. Awesome wine that has yet to disappoint.
Tightly tannic, almost undrinkable when first opened but smoothed out an hour after decanting. Opened up beautifully with nice fruit and flavors, but not much nose. Rivals the '04 Insignia, but needs more time to be sure.
Tightly tannic, almost undrinkable when first opened but smoothed out an hour after decanting. Opened up beautifully with nice fruit and flavors, but not as much nose as I expected. Rivals the '04 Insignia, but needs more time to be sure. I don't plan to drink any more until next year.
Opened and let breathe for a couple hours prior to drinking. Not decanted. Nose shows an abundance of blackberry and mocha notes, which carry over to the palate. Full-bodied with lots of depth and a great finish. Tannins are very fine and the ripeness of the fruit keeps them in check which makes this wine easier to enjoy in it's youth but it should develop well over the next 3-5 years.
First bottle of Insignia. Enjoyed with Filet at Mastros BH. Couldn't find anything wrong with it. Definitely better than the 2006 Pahlmeyer that we drank first (though also a good bottle)! Did not decant.
The New Year's eve wine of 2009. Big beautiful wine, with more residual sugar than I like. Intense purple fruit with nice well balanced tannins. This is a powerhouse, but I've been spoiled with some big Rhone wines lately that are more my style. Would love the chance to try this again with a great steak - it may make me rethink this.
(tasted in gen.ka wine fair) This is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. It was decanted at least 2 hours I think. Beautiful dark color. Incredible and oh so complex nose with coffee, a whole world of spices and chocolate. Glorious in the mouth, with tannins soft like velvet and fruits fighting over spices and chocolate. No point in trying to identify the flavours. Nearly half a minute aftertaste. This is a HUGE wine. At a price of 180€ it still seems a great bargain. A wine to have and to hold for at least 20 years.
Cabernet Finale (Wine Exchange. Orange, CA): Drank as part of a Cab Sauv tasting and it had been decanted for several hours. Coffee on the nose. Lots of tannins and good acidity. It's a little hard to appreciate now, but should age well. Could use a little more fruit extraction. For the money, I'd prefer something more readily approachable like a Lewis or Caymus, but the Phelps should hold up for many years. I'd give it at least a few years before drinking though.
(Tasted Blind) Quintessentially Napa Valley, this wine reveals its typicity with ultra-ripe black cherry, currant, blueberry jam and lots of toasty oak aromas leading into a classic, low acid palate that shows nice balance between dark fruit, oak and tannin.
A bit closed. Lots of tannins but not much fruit showing through at the moment and the overall impression is a little bitter. Long finish suggests to look for improvements on release. Tasted pre-release at Insignia party 2009. .