Has all of the components of a great wine, but in the end it just doesn't taste good enough for a big score. In fact, nose and initial flavor are great, but somehow the finish is off. It's not a skunky, flawed or over the hill flavor, just not what we want.
Deep crimson appearance, with an intoxicating bouquet that stops you in your tracks. Ripe, mature blackberry, cherry, cassis, and chocolate aromas are laced with back notes of fresh thyme, tarragon, new leather, and wintergreen. The palate is rich, decadent, and unctuously seductive, unfurling waves of layers, textures, and flavors that feature a core of black fruit, sultry spices, sweet tannin, and an underlying element of umami. This has glorious length, balance, and intensity. Gains tremendous traction on the long, medicinal finish. A beautiful, beautiful wine.
Dark brick in color, three hour decant Black cherry, woody hints, pipe tobacco, leather, chocolate Nutmeg/cloves, saltiness, blueberries, red licorice. Palate is like nose. This is a sophisticated wine with lots of depth. A great journey.
WCC 2000 Bordeaux Blind (Dorato's Resturant, Guilderland, NY): [Double decanted at 1pm.] More flamboyant and fruit-forward nose. Silky and soft in the mouth. Appealing but short compared to 2 (2000 du Tertre). This ringer didn't fool anyone. Lots of folks guessed it was from California. Tied for #3 Group WOTN.
My last bottle! Still tasted lively and of chocolate covered cherries. Had along with the 2002 and 2009 offering and this was right there with the 2002. Really liked it. Finish was great--kept going and going
I have never had a bottle of Insignia I didn't enjoy and this 2000 was lip smacking good. Lots of fruit with aromas of cherry pie and dark chocolate. Decanted for 2 hours and second day was just as tasty.
What a tempting glass of wine. Some chocolate, sweet spices, sweet licorice, soft tannin and beautiful acidity. Very smooth, luxurious and complex. Completely ready now and no real hurry. Delicious wine.
We love this wine! Deep, deep glass staining red in color. Packed with dark red fruit. Big nose and silk on the palate. A long pleasant finish that leaves you longing for more. Be sure to decant for at least an hour before drinking.
Decanted and aired for one hour. Dark garnet in color. Big nose that screams Insignia. Nicely balanced and aged well. For my palate this wine is probably at its peak and will be sliding downhill from here. The back palate was very average and did not have the depth of other vintages.
Beginning to turn to the other side. Starts out with lots of fruit and really comes on strong, then drops off massively. If you have it, drink it. Not very comes but very straight forward. Drank with food. After an hour of decanting, started to become tired.
- Garnet color with fast forming legs. It's balanced with a medium/full body. Satin-Like texture with a long finish - Fabulous wine. Bright red fruit, cassis, slight tobacco, with an impression of sweetness as it hits the front of the tongue. Flavors immediately change to a mouth filling Bordeaux blend with ripe cherry and berry flavors. The long finish is preceded by flavors or each of the individual grapes that make up this wonderful wine. Almost no sediment at all but decanted for an hour, during which this wine opened to perfection. Still a young tasting wine.
Absolutely amazing, with loads of black currants, cassis backed by caramel, molasses and hints of anise. This shows impeccable balance, focus and concentration. The fruit is delivered by round, polished and dusty tannins that explode on your palate leaving you with a mouthful of delicious juicy fruit. An exceptional wine from a tough vintage and it's drinking perfect right now. - July, 2012 (JD) - 95+ POINTS
Its 12 years old and still tasting young and refreshing!! Dark fruit, think purple plums, blackberries, black cherries on the nose and palate with soft tannins and great balance. For one of the 'milestone' birthdays ... me, not the wine ... although 12 years seems like a lot for wine ... this was a wonderful present. Thanks!!
Big nose of ripe dark fruit, cocoa and tobacco. The palate was thin initially, but really grew after 30 minutes. Showed best after 2hrs with a double decant. Very dark purple with almost no bricking. Typical insignia style with plenty of dark fruits and earthy chocolate notes. Soft tannins. Secondary notes are starting to show. Some detectable heat on the finish, but overall a nice wine for a 2000.
Wasn't my favorite of the evening as perhaps it's palate was overshadowed by richer wines. This bottle was almost feminine and perhaps slightly corked as there was a mustiness to it that never completely blew off. A bit edgy on the finish as the tannins were grainy. Fruit was mature and there was tobacco.
Decanted an hour prior to dinner. Deep garnet color, light meniscus. Aromas of lavender, violets, plum, old leather, anise and chocolate. Well-integrated, with flavors of blackberry liqueur, plums, chocolate and anise. Hints of cedar and leather as well. 91-92 pts; drink now.
Oh yeah. It had been almost two years since I had tasted this, and it's definitely improved. Opened - not decanted - about twenty minutes before tasting, so it naturally evolved and opened over the course of the next ninety minutes or so. Big time currants on the nose and on the palate, along with assorted black fruits, cedar, and a hint of sage. Full bodied with extremely fine tannins. Excellent finish and an overall feel of elegance and sophistication. Terrific wine that should hold or even improve for a few more years.
- Brick color with fast forming legs and aromas of blackberry. It's in total harmony and has flavours of cedar and black pepper with a full body. Bright texture with a medium finish - This wine is as reliable as ever. Although some loss of tannins, it remains extremely well balanced and fruit as lucious as can be. Was as enjoyable before dinner as it was with the rib steak. Wish I could have this wine every day. Definitely put this one in my top ten wines.
Classic Insignia aroma and flavor profile, beautifully mellowed by time in bottle. Decanted for an hour and then enjoyed every sip. Still standing strong after 11 years and offering-up rich red fruits, layers of complexity, and a strong, lasting finish. Pleased to have a few more.
Fully mature excellent Napa cabernet sauvignon. Nose was a beautiful blend of ripe dark cherries, cocoa, and oak, with a touch of eucalyptus. Full mouth feel throughout. Palate is filled with perfectly blended ripe dark cherries, blackberries, cocoa, mature light tannin, and a hint of earth. Wonderful long finish that lingers with dark berries, tannin, and eucalyptus.
Opened up a 1.5ml for New Years eve. Decanted it for 90 minutes and it was huge. Heavy berries. I had it with lamb and it was amazing. Definitely at it peak right now. Very long finish and amazingly smooth.
I was worried about this wine after reading some reviews stating this wine may be in decline. I want to say that there is still a couple of cellar years left! Great wine still with good finish. Not overly strong tannins. Odors of chocolate, cherries and leather are still distinctive. Gave it 45 minutes and was fantastic with Beef Wellington.
Gloriously aromatic, violets intermingled with tobacco and black cherries. On the palate, definitely a drop off in the fruit over the past year, although this wine probably suffered by being consumed alongside a much bigger, bolder Malbec.
The nose is like a dinner plate with steak, butternut squash, and dark blackberries with stems intact all showing through. It delivers full and juicy fruit along with structure that builds slowly and dries fully. The fruit is lovely all the way across. It's big and still clean. A tasty bit of butterscotch appears later in the experience.
Decanted for one hour. Stunning nose of black fruits, mint, cedar and spice. Dark purple plum in color. Delicious mature palate of cassis, blueberry, plum and a touch of earth and oak. No tannin. Should hold up well for several more years. Drunk side by side with 04 Montelena Estate which was a much bigger wine and still very tannic. Considering the off vintage for CA, the Phelps is a beauty and drank perfectly with veal medallions in fresh porcini mushroom sauce.
Decanted 90 min. Loads of red fruit, cassis, and a good amount of wood....not so much typical oak, more of a rough wood, or maybe a bit of cedar. I don't feel that the wine is any sort of decline as some notes are indicating. This wine was drinking very well, definitely has some years left, as the tannins were still firm with a dry finish. From a QPR perspective this is not the best, but if you forget how much you paid for it, it's much more enjoyable!
Dark color, spice and black sweet fruit on the nose. Very intense fruit with spice and tar on the palate. Sweet chewy tannins on the finish. Not a stellar year from Napa, this wine exceeded expectations, especially since it was purchased at a silent auction in the summer of 2003...provenance unknown.
Decanted for about an hour. I have been a little worried about this because of reports that is is over the hump. Maybe, but I am not the least worried about the 2 that I have left in the cellar!. Wonderful candy and tobacco nose and palate of strong sweet mocha and black fruit. All of it summing up to a long finish to enjoy! Happy camper!
I'm perhaps being a bit critical, due to the stellar lineup of the evening. I had one of these about 3 years ago and can say that the wine is definitely NOT going to improve with any more time (there was noticeably more intrigue in that previous bottle). The aromatics were nice, though muted; as was the fruit-component and although the acidity and tannins were arguably in balance, the total package was somewhat underwhelming. If you got any, drink it!
Opened about 1/2 hour before tasting. Shy nose at first, along with muted flavors. Started opening up about an hour later, revealing a nice cabernet nose. Medium body, with mostly black cherries on the palate. Somewhat disappointing lack of complexity, but otherwise conveyed an impression of elegance and refinement. In spite of the vintage, this should hold for a few more years.
When first opened, seemed to be aged wine. hmmmm. After it had been open for a few hrs, it got better. We drank side by side with a 1997 Pride Reserve Cab, and that wine was over the top, still young. Rather disappointing with the Insignia.
Pop and pour at BLU Kitchen, Jackson Hole; not decanted. This wine is very impressive for the vintage, stands next to Shafer HSS for the best bottle of the vintage IMO. We found that this well-balanced wine began to fall apart after 90 mins opened, but the balance indicates that this wine could still be consumed over several years and that there's no need to drain your cellar if you still have some of this. Unfortunately, this was our last bottle.
wonderful wine, decanted for 3 hours before drinking. This was a Magnum bottle. Nose was dark cassis with spice notes of licorice, coffee, some oak. Taste was balanced with some tannins but overall a stellar wine
Spectacular stuff for a substandard year. Tannins totally integrated. Concentrated and dense. Plenty of sweet black cherry fruits. It would be fun to taste this head to head with some of the more heralded vintages as we really liked this tonight- WOTN.
It is interesting. One strange benefit of a cellar is the habits I form down there occasionally teach me something. Today I learned sometimes the things that my habits teach me are wrong. Often, I reference CellarTracker before heading to the cellar, just as frequently I go to the cellar and simply pull a bottle.
When I pull bottles, I avoid California reds from the years 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002. I gravitate toward the 2005, 2004, 2001 and recently 2007. I am biased toward young Cabs. And I really avoid 2000 and 2002. This 2000 Joseph Phelps tosses all that aside. Chalky, smooth and sophisticated sexy in a Dean Martin and Tom Jones manner. It starts soft and smooth but the finish lasts forever and by the time it is done there are knickers on the floor and everyone is dancing.
Decanted for an hour. Went up against an '03 Justin Isosceles & an '03 Montelena Napa. I picked the Isosceles as WOTN, while one of my friends chose the Insignia, which was a bit heavy on the oak for me, while the Isosceles seemed more balanced. The '05 Insignia was the most hedonistic wine I've ever tasted, but it's unfair to compare the two vintages.
FROM MAGNUM. Very dark garnet. Initialy closed, but opened up rather fast after being decanted, and reached its peak after 3 hours. Gorgeous and extremely complex nose with licorice, creme de cassis, cedar, spices and hints of earthy aromas. Full-bodied, ultra-soft and smooth with textbook velvety tannins, opulent fruit and moderate, yet adequate acidity. Very long finish. A beauty. At its peak now, will drink well for another 10 years. This is supposedly a poor Napa vintage, but this wine is great at this stage.
I was surprised by this wine, and it shows that while 2000 Napa as a vintage is not well regarded, there were outliers. This had a large nose of bright dark fruit with some earth, cedar and leather notes. Very nice. On the palate this had great blackberry and kirsch flavors; this wine aslo had a noticable green, mostly green olive note that went well with the wine. While not my favorite example of Phelps' Insignia, this was quite enjoyable and the wood and tannins have come together in this bottle, and it is ready. 50+5+13+16+6
CT London Event (Hide Bar, Bermondsey, London): A very nice wine with lots of stuffing in it - I think this is absolutely bursting with potential. Nose was rich with toasty oak, black peppercorns, bramble and lots and lots of dark fruit. Clearly extracted palate, with mouth coating but very fine tannins adding a very strong sense of structure of rich plums and cassis flavours. Lovely balance in spite of the great fruit weight though. I was very impressed. Lots of fruit at the finish as well, which was long, very long in fact, and powerful to the very end. An excellent wine.
Excellent experience with a wine from a rare challenged vintage out of Napa. Toward dispatching the deficiencies of this wine quickly, it was obviously a wine of lesser vibrancy, depth and sophistication as compared to the award winning 2002 and other "peak year" vintages, the 2000 enjoyed this evening suffers only by comparison. As it was the only wine we opended this evening, it proved itself to be a stand out. Then again, if one were to consider it in comparison to most other cabernet heavy Napa offerings from the 2000 vintage, this wine is a star.
As for the wine itself, the body is supple with some truly lush carmel and eathy tones, yet on the whole remains light, effervescent and playful. I believe that the janus-like fusion of opposite impulses revealed themselves in such balance as an aspect of this wine's age. I expect we'll be finishing our remaining bottles over the next few months with all of the elated expectation of a child chasing visions of ice cream inspired by Good Humor's melody hypnotically infusing the dusky breezes of July. Ah yes, the wine. Pardon my carrying on, but I was - and remain - delightfully surprised as I had expected this wine from this vintage to have turned flabby and flat. This wine was anything but that.
In the end, my surprise and delight must find proportion, context, within which an attempt at objective measure can be rendered. Thus my rating of a 91 for this bottle. Subsequent samplings from this vintage may induce me to at a point, no more, to my judgment. Stay tuned as time will tell.
Next to the last bottle. Not nearly as interesting as earlier bottles. Berries and mocha flavors, a bit muted with a nice nose. The tannins have resolved to a nice, smooth finish. I think these need to be consumed as they are not going to improve. Still for the $50 pricetag these are a bargain today.
Our last bottle of Insignia from 2000 was no disappointment. I previously had this wine about a month ago so the details are nearly the same this time around. The only thing I will reiterate is that the drinking window on this wine is wide open. No need to wait on it so enjoy it now while it is at its best.
My second bottle of the 2000 was really excellent. Smooth, balanced, no aggressive tannins. I'm always amazed that, even as the blend changes each year, Insignia is always identifiably distinctive. I guess that is what terroir means...
Brought to dinner at Langley's in Windsor, CA. While the restaurant most certainly underperformed, the wine did not. This is a very typical Insignia with excellent scents of creme de cassis, vanilla and a bit of ground coffee beans. Flavors are wonderfully smooth and well integrated with great fruit, depth and a lingering finish that has only a hint of tannins. For 2000, this wine is really quite exceptional. I would compare it to the 98 vintage. My only criticism, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, is that while other vintages of Insignia from a better growing season usually end up with the stuffing for putting a bit of age on them, this vintage is drinking very well now but probably will not last for more then another 5 years before it starts to peeter out on you.
Decanted for 4 hours. Very dark, brooding, cherry with a bit of leather, mostly up front with a short an unexciting finish. Tanins a bit to sharp at the start but tempered with food. Okay, but not an attention getter.
Dark brooding red showing no signs of age. Great nose of cedar, chocolate , cherry, and a bit of tobacco leaf/cigar box. Very smooth on the palate. Great balance and structure. Tannins are there but mostly in the background. They become a little more pronounced after a couple of hours making me think that this should do quite well for at least 5- 7 more years. Went great with the steaks. Flavors are similar to the nose. 15+ second finish. Drinking very nicely now but I think will improve as more secondary aromas and flavors emerge.My first Insignia and was very pleased.
this show very nicely. very nice nose of cassias, vanilla, black cherry. nice balance mouth, full bodied but soft. fruit forward with a little complexity and a nice finish. good showing in a toufh year
Part of 2000 , 2001 , 2002 mini vertical . Shockingly good , out of the gate it was my favorite with a great nose and great dark fruit and smoke & leather . It was the first of the three to start to fall apart
Modest but dark nose of chocolate, cassis, coffee grind and a hint of oak. Palate was incredibly silky with deep, expansive flavors. Tannins are nearly resolved. Finish is med to long. A very classy wine (relative to its region of origin).
Was pleasantly surprised based on the vintage. Nose was a knockout combo of chocolate and cherries maybe some plum. Full blodied and plush. Not at all what I expected from this 2000. Flavors broaden out and linger with the smooth finish. Still has acidic backbone with receding tannins. Couple more years left but is drinking very nicely right now.
This is at peak now. Without a decant, the nose is full of creamy chocolate and olive. The palate is silky and smooth with cassis, black olive, and pencil lead. The fruit is round and the finish long and balanced with fine tannins. This shows the pedigree of this wine.
dark purple color. the nose on this wine is gorgeous, even after being opened for only three hours. vanilla leads the way, but there's also blackberries, currants, toast and a bit of mint. rich on the palate, but i was surprised by how approachable this was. very silky with round tannins and a gorgeous, plush mouthfeel. blackberry, currant, coffee, smoke and vanilla fountain soda. the fruit is lush and pure, like right from the farmer's market. and the oak accentuates it, it doesn't overpower it. this is a great effort that i imagine will be more expressive in a few years.
Decanted 2 hrs. Beautiful cassis, coffee, hint of mint on nose. Somewhat muted fruit on palate, oak starting to dominate. Smooth tannins. I bought this in 2007 (for $70/bottle!) so not sure where this is in its evolution- I'm probably going to drink my other bottles within the next year or so.
Drank while watching "Sideways", after a 90 minute decant. My score's a bit lower since I've been trying better wines and/or better vintages (in this case the latter). Still a great value, relatively speaking.
Drank at Merisol with Becky and Alec. Same notes as previous bottles, smoke, chocolate cherries and cedar. Smooth wine with a nice finish. This is not the best Insignia but continues to be a solid choice for the price. Awesome nose.
Thirty Years of Phelps Insignia (1974 through 2004): The nose is a very similar to the 1998 featuring black fruit, oak and vanilla. Clumsy. The taste simple with dark fruit tons of oak. A little hot on the finish. I'm not optimistic for the future of this one either.
Plum & Blueberry on nose and flavor profile. Very enjoyable. Will continue to improve for another 5 years. Well made wine with perfectly integrated tannins. Would decant for 1 hour if you have the time. Enjoyable!
Decanted for an hour. Color darkening around the edges. I wish I tried this upon release to see how it has evolved. Great aromatics on this, offering black fruits, cassis, mint, chocolate and just a touch of spicy oak. This filled out with some air, initially missing a mid-palate - this firmed up nicely and gained a seamless structure with about 1-2 hours in the decanter. Silky, long finish. I enjoyed this more than a 2002 Insignia out of 375, perhaps due to bottle age?
The Phelps had perhaps the brightest sweetest cherry fruit of any of these wines and exhibited a nice cedery oak that blended in as well. This was a good bottle, but as with past experiences with Insignia it was good, but stuck to a very classic formula for CA cab.
This is a wonderful bottle of wine. I agree that it drinks better than the 99. It's fuller richer and shows more fruit. It is the only 2000 vintage cab from Cali that I have really enjoyed and the price I was able to get it at was reasonable. I will have to try one of the premium vintages of this wine to really get better understanding of just how good this can be. It certainly shines in the off years.
My WOTN. We tasted this along side a '99 Silverado & a '94 Napa Silver Oak. It lights up your mouth with notes of chocolate, liquorice & black fruit, and a lingering finish. I decanted for about 30 minutes before it started opeing up, it's really drinking well right now. I wish I had more than one bottle left.
Tried another bottle as our New Year's bottle was corked. Opened and decanted for 2 hours prior to dinner.A bit slow to open and a bit tannic to start, really started to sing with a ribeye off the grill. Muted nose of lead pencil and black fruit. Smooth tannins, tastes of dark cherries, graphite and anise. Continues to be a solid wine.
Opened but not decanted, and allowed to sit for 90 mins. A nicely-balanced wine, especially for the vintage, but lacking the depth or nuances of a typical Insignia or top flight calicab. After this had been open 3 hrs the finish became even more brief; I'll plan to drink my remaining bottles over the next 3+ years.
Decanted for three hours, poured back into the bottle for one hour. Consumed with grilled steaks, sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, etc. I was very pleased given the bad things I had heard about this vintage. Pleasant, medium nose with fruit and floral scents. Very nice, fresh palate with cassis, red fruit, some licorice. Tannins resolved, fully integrated. I think this is drinking well right now and probably won't greatly improve. I have a general preference for Old World style wines, but this makes a strong case for New World style.
Solid wine, especially given the context of the vintage. Good color - purple and red. Hints of cedar and red fruit on the nose. On the palate plenty of red fruit - strawberries and raspberries - and finely integrated tannins. Full-bodied. Medium-length finish.
Cab Lovers of NYC Insignia Vertical (Zoe): This is a nice wine. A good job for a bad vintage, but it's really nothing to write home about. Smooth on the entry it fades a little on the finish. Good fruit, but not much of it. Crushed mint. Solid if unspectacular.
Not decanted. Fruit and wood on the nose, dark color, deep flavors of cedar and dried fruit, soft tannins, medium finish. Highly enjoyable. There is not doubt this is an Insignia, but it is not as concentrated as 2001 and 2002, and thus suffers ONLY in comparison.
Right out of the bottle this had a lot of vegatable characteristics, with bell pepper and grass leaving a real bad taste. Did not decant at first out of anxiety over the relative "thinness" of the wine, I let this breathe uncorked for an hour, then gave it 45 mins in the decanter. Improved considerably, and another hour later it was an excellent wine. Good fruit and tannic integration, with some spices, light oak and vanilla. Still has a fairly short finish, but drinking very well with proper time and handling.
 No decanting, drack over 2 hours. Inky. Nose of smoke, cherries, mint. Medium bodied not a huge wine by Insignia standards. On the palate, chocolate, mint, smoke, cassis, cherry licorice. Bordeaux in style. Pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Better than the Ladera. Though it was lacking somewhat in structure; so drink now.
Phelps Insignia Vertical 15+ Years: Vertical tasting. Really great aromatics display lots of dark fruit and a wonderful perfumed, floral character. Big blackberry fruit follows through on the palate,still good structure, particularly given the vintage reputation. Finish shows the fruit nicely with some nice interesting earthy touches.
Tasted double blind with my tasting group. Deep ruby with nice aromatics of cassis, chocolate and a marked note of licorice. Full to medium bodied with nice texture, fine tannin and a fruity finish. This is a surprisingly good wine from the forgetable 2000 California vintage. I correctly guessed an elegant California cab, but missed the vintage.
Inky black. Medium nose of very dark fruit and smoke. First impression of flavor is that it does have an element of the typical Insignia profile. Very tannic. No, make that *very* tannic, and harsh tannin at that. It really overpowers the fruit. The flavor is of a really dark brooding nature, and very smoky and spicy. Relatively short finish. 87 pts.
Okay, a gremlin came and swapped my bottle out over night.
Seriously, this seems like a very different wine today.
It's still pretty tannic, but now I'm getting a nose of sweet cherries and roses, and it seems like a fairly smooth drinker now. All of the smokiness is gone. The finish seems a bit longer, but still not long by any means.
Dark ruby/black colour. Aromas of black licorice, smoke, blackcurrant, charred wood, and graphite. Full-bodied, tannins integrating nicely, showing oak, licorice, and blackcurrant notes on the palate. Moderate-length finish, 30-35s, with plum and blackcurrant.
Sampled all of Phelps wines as presented to our group by Phelps representative. This wine stole the show, full bodied, dark cherry, subtle hint of licorice, cedar and cassis nose, so well integrated and balanced. Hard to believe this is considered an off vintage. Complimented our sirloin tips perfectly.
Tasted at the WIML off-line at Speakeasy Supper Club. Bright purple color. Minty, red raspberry, and vanilla flavors and aromas. Very bright and vibrant on the attack. A bit more candied than most Insignias, a trait that seems consistent with the vintage. Enjoyable now. Drink over the next three years to catch its playful fruit profile. It does not seem to have the skeletal structure or substance to age and improve into the next decade.
Wow - this is a big wine. Admittedly this was from two double-mags (at a company Christmas party), so it's probably aged almost not at all. Dark color, heady nose of sage, cedar, dark berries, hints of pencil. In the mouth this wine played it a bit close to the vest at first, but after an hour of decanting and another 45 minutes in the glass it started to loosen its grip on intense raspberry and currant, bits of leather and licorice, and some other dark, roasted, extracted flavors (think red wine sauce reduction).
Tasted at the Parsec Cup #7 event in Frisco, CO on 5/3/03. Free The Grapes brought this wine to me as my two bottle share of the Insignia from the Phelps Preferred Club, membership which we share. I believe the club price is $90.
This wine was tasted by all double blind. It was opened, but not decanted, while waiting for dinner to be prepared and served.
Very dark, almost inky black color. One of the tasters mentioned tar on the nose (I disagreed with that). I detected vanilla, oak and dark fruits. On the palate, licorice, vanilla and dark fruits. Creamy oak, with no midpalate hollowness. The finish showed more vanilla and oak, but not overwhelmingly so. Long finish.
For a wine this young, with no decanting, this wine was outstanding. Every taster agreed that it was outstanding. Still, I wondered what it might become with more air time, and/or age.
I will say that as much as I enjoyed the 98 Insignia, I believe this wine is a step up from that vintage. However, at a price of $90, I will not likely add to the lone remaining bottle.