40th birthday dinner celebration, from magnum (wedding gift 10 years ago from wife!), next to Ridge 2006 Monte Bello: The Insignia was incredibly smooth, with a glorious and long finish. I slightly preferred the MB, as it had a bit more interesting character. Both were stunning.
Been a while since the last bottle, maybe a decade ago. The nose gives off an earthy leather, with a subtle mint mixer. On the palate, you get a sense that this isn't going to last too much longer, as it is starting to lose the acidic backbone that prevents is from transitioning from elegant to deliciously flabby /flat, but veeery tasty. I'd give this 2-3 years left based on this bottle before exiting it's peak. As bordeaux as a Cali-cab can get, the symbiotic relationship of fruit and alcohol prototypical-just great juice.
Dead nose, almost a nose of chopped salad. But the initial palate and richness of the dark fruit comes thru big time! A good terroir finish. This producer is overpriced and worth every penny all at the same time. Go figure. This wine has years and years of enjoyment to go!!!
A wine of the greatest finesse and refinement. Leather, sandalwood, and graphite on the nose. Seamlessly smooth, creamy mouthfeel of warm red and black fruits. Not so much a long finish, but the most gentle glide off the tongue. Tannins silky and fully integrated. This wine is at its peak now, balanced in every way, including the balance of primary to tertiary flavors. For a visit from a great-grandmother of royal blood, this would be my go-to wine...
Notes of dark fruit caress the palate with well integrated tannins. Everything here is seamless with a wonderful finish. I decanted the wine for 6 hours before dinner. This is just about as good as it gets for a California Cabernet.
decanted for an hour+ excellent nose of dark fruit compote, delicious still with bright stewed fruits and a touch of cinammon stick. still with 10+years to go but good now. limited notes as it was a birthday party. Solid 93-maybe more.
From magnum; the fill was into the neck and the cork was sound. Decanted and consumed over the course of two hours. Aromas of ripe dark fruits, fennel, and hints of cedar. Medium bodied, with layers of flavor, impressive depth, and a long finish.
Damn Winos (Ambrosia Restaurant in Eugene): PNP at Ambrosia, this had an immediate presence. Black fruit, oak, mint, and spice on a velvety texture that just goes on and on. The tannins have mellowed significantly, but I do think it'll make 25 years. Great wine!
This was drinking amazing!! Did not take any formal notes, drank along side an incredible line up and the '01 Insignia held its own against the Big Boys, a bit more refined than most, so had its place in the line up. Have to thank Gary and Diane and all in attendance for such stellar wine drinking experience.... wines included: '01 Sloan, '02 Harlan Estate, 02 Blankiet Paradise Hills, '01 & '02 Shafer Hillside Select, '01 Bond Melbury, '02 Abreu Thorevilos, & '01 Colgin Herb Lamb... what an evening!!
Just by looking at this wine in the glass with its dark purple (almost black) appearance, you know you’re in for something big and bold! The nose supports this thought as the aromas of dark fruits such as blackberry and blueberry immediately jump out along with secondary notes of earth and mocha. But in true Phelps fashion the powerful character of this vintage is extremely well balanced with a smooth, plush mouthfeel and a finish that seemingly goes on forever. Detailed, complete with a long 40 second finish this wine is a stunner. Near peak but with many years of great drinking ahead. www.advinetures.ca
awesome. Drinking splendidly. Camphor and dark fruits, blackberry and spice. Floral notes in the finish which is incredibly long and complex. Sweet tannin and great balance. Effortless smooth and exhilarating.
Brought to friends' house for dinner, followed a 2003 Lafon Rochet. Both wines were very good, the Insignia went very well with the steak.
I enjoyed this even more than I did in December. Notes are similar, with dark cherries and high cacao chocolate. But this seemed smoother and better integrated, really a terrific bottle. Nothing seemed out of place, and no noticeable alcohol. On balance I still think the 2002 is a bit better, but both are very, very good, and the 2001 shined bright this night.
Decanted about an hour before dinner. Very dark, almost black/red. Reluctant nose of black cherries, dark high cacao content chocolate, other black fruits and a slight but noticeable whiff of alcohol. Smooth on palate, with dark fruit dominating.
A few years ago, I thought the 01 was potentially better than the 02. I've changed my mind, having had both wines multiple times recently. Both are very fine, but I prefer the exuberant fruit of the 02. These might be BDX blends, but they are stil CA wines. I think the 02 is truer to its origins, and just more fun and pleasurable to drink.
Still, splitting hairs, I would never turn down a glass of the 01!
Nose was a bit muted, despite a decant about 45 minutes before dinner. Red and black cherries, leather and some funk on the nose. Not quite as smooth as the 2002 that we have had many times in the past year. I'll probably wait a year or so before I open my next bottle, but this was below expectations.
This was brought by an unsuspecting guest to a dinner party (gasp). Most didn't know anything about it or the fact that it's rare, expensive, and exquisite. As the lone person to recognize it, I was pleasantly surprised. Well aged and complex.
2 hrs decanted Middle color dark purple. Amazing nose. Cake batter, Forrest, blueberry, soft floral nose. Really intense maple syrup nose. Black currant, syrup, black currant, slightest hint of alcohol, beautiful how the alcohol blends so well with the flavors of the wine. This is the perfect example for me when a wine is at it's best. The it is just hitting on all cylinders. Great wine. I recommend to drink now.
This bottle I drank together with THomas and Axel together with Insignia 2001, first the Californian cab was the winner, but it changed, we decanted the HB 2 hours, the nose seems a little bit oxidated but after getting air ripe black currant aromas, typical bx nose pencil, minerality, tobacco, the insignia started very well with high concentration of fruits, tannins mighty but soft, high density. botha 96, but in this case I would prefer the HB (starting 92) still too young, the Cab starting 97 and going down 95 because of the one dimension taste, will live at least 10 more years, unfortunately not decanted
A pleasant California fruit wine but lacking intrigue and complexity. Yes, dark and dense fruits, smooth and velvety texture, very soft tannins with well balanced acids. So true to what it is meant to be at this age.
From mag. Super exciting dense and nuanced, yet easy. Inky, loamy, and wiling. More sweet than bitter, with deep, quietly humming intensity and a long, balanced finish where the perfectly integrated vanilla, fruit, spice, and espresso flavors refresh with sweet, tumbling tannins.
Dinner with Friends and "2001 Cabs": Ripe ruby. Nose of black currants, vanilla, herbs and cooked berries. Wonderful sweetness which is perfectly integrated, highly elegant and balanced. Just an amazing wine to drink over the next 10+ years.
From a pristinely-cellared bottle kindly provided to our tasting group by J.P., this blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec (73% Estate fruit) flaunts an intense nose of black currants, lavender potpourri, anise, fig and minerals. Full-bodied, round and with big sweet tannins, it offers ripe black fruit and mineral flavors with a minimum of alcoholic heat (13.9%). The flavors build on the middle palate and the smooth finish is lengthy. This 13-year-old Cabernet is still a baby! I guessed that it was a high-end Napa Cab, circa 2009. While certainly very pleasurable now, those with patience will be rewarded. Drink 2017-2025.
We did an Insignia 2001, 2003 & 2007 vertical. This one was spectacular. It was about a 50/50 among the eight of us on whether the 01 or 03 was better. The 07 was great but everyone agreed that it needs more time in the cellar before it can match up.
This is coming into it's own now, medium dark fruit and cassis dominate, some asian spices are, vanilla and toasted oak are also present. Great length and overall balance. Wish I had more of this that was stored as well.
Decanted 2 hrs Great Bordeaux type nose. Elegant blueberry skins creaminess on the nose. Black jam lots of tannins. Lots of fruit a little alcohol chocolate brownie type nose and flavor. Sharp flavor profile. A hint of paper chemical nose. Smooth cherry Ludens taste. Great example of a California wine with sophistication. Huge fan of this wine.
Outstanding again - bumping it up a point from a year ago as it was even more impressive. Notes very consistent, full of blueberry, blackberry, espresso, red and black licorice, some veggie components. So complex and well textured. Tastes fantastic now and is in a good drinking window, yet more noticeable tannins than I remember before. No rush on this one.
Decanted three hours before drinking. Inky purple in color. Molasses / maple syrup in the nose. In the mouth, hints of blueberry, plum and other dark fruit pervade, with little alcohol remaining. So very smooth. A slight peppery flavor at the end and a very reserved finish. Much more mellow that the Masseto tasted immediately preceding it. Wine of the night by a narrow margin.
Surprisingly opaque garnet color with exuberant black cherry, blackberry, cassis, cedarwood, espresso aromas. On the palate, it's full-bodied and well balanced with silky sweet tannins. It shows relatively youthful ample mouthfilling blackberry, cassis, and espresso flavors. Long finish.
Decanted at the Ridgewood CC; the cork broke in half while opening - never fear! Faint nose of berry, but on the palate a smooth progression of blackberry, oak, and tannin. Silk in a glass. A great accompaniment to prime rib and Brussel sprouts. Sophisticated and elegant.
The perfect match for Flannery beef grilled rare, with its fat, juicy, ripe, dense layers of rich blackberry puree, licorice, smoke, vanilla, earth and jam characteristics. The wine is intense, yet in balance. Still youthful, Phelps Insignia is one of the best examples of age-worthy California Cabernet Sauvignon. Splash decanted, the wine was produced from a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec.
This iteration of Insignia is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec (73% Estate fruit). Purchased upon release and cellared in pristine fashion, this particular bottle was double-decanted, allowing four hours in decanter prior to funneling back into the cleaned bottle. It was subsequently enjoyed with friends at an Insignia vertical dinner. The robe remains a youthful-appearing opaque ruby. With an intense nose of cassis, potpourri, anise, fig and minerals, it follows with a full-bodied, round palate. The tannins are substantial but silky-textured, and the alcohol (13.9%) is seamless. Ripe black fruit and mineral flavors dominate the palate and build in the middle. Concluding long and smooth, this is yet another brilliant showing for this still-youthful, gorgeous wine. Well-cellared bottles should get even better! Drink 2017-2025.
Probably the best wine I've tasted in the past three or four years. Huge, but still beautifully balanced. Assertive nose, plenty of complexity, fine-grained tannins, medium body, and a spectacular finish. Sleek and sophisticated. A classic.
Double decanted then tasted almost immediately. This is in a really good place today. Deep, rich sweet cassis, cedar, pipe tobacco, leather, hints of cocoa and damp, loamy earth notes. The tannins on the long finish are still quite grippy but they did moderate after a couple of hours of air. While this wine's California heritage is clearly evident, it does lean quite abit toward Bordeaux. Tonight this was quite a treat.
big silky slightly overripe (for my taste) plum, prune and blueberry; almost seemed as if bottle had been 'cooked', though cork and provenance were fine; good earth and tobacco leaf; oak and tannins are well integrated; good acidity, but not light on its feet; not my fave style at the moment; NR given the atypical tasting.
wonderfully crafted wines. hit on all levels. Silky smooth finish with no tannin overkill. Balance artfully between & power & elegance. flavors of both blackberry & raspberry with a hint of tobacco are the more prevalent. But wisps of more flirted with the taste buds. JPI rarely disappoints. Drinking well now for sure.
Fantastic wine that has come together very nicely. Excellent combination of earthy/soil notes and ripe fruit on the nose. The palate is very refreshing, and layered in veggie and blue fruit flavors. Smooth finish. Very refined, and drinking nicely right now... Big fan of this wine.
WOTN up against serious comp from Oakville. Decanted 3 plus hours Great complexities on this wine and a bunch of layer when you think you are tasting one thing you can dig a little deeper and find hints of more flavors. Love this wine for that. From the start of this wine could not tell Napa. Very Bordeaux character going on.Bit barnyard on the nose, but nice side of barnyard not overpowering. Also mint chocolate and eucalyptus on the nose. Reminded me of a middle aged first growth. Great mixture of black and red rope licorice Mint, black currant, and hints of blueberry flavors. Great long and smooth finish. Very well constructed. Looking forward to trying again as I feel I missed somethings as I was totally surprised by this wine.
Inventory Reduction Event: A focused, tight and at the same time balanced wine with a strong underlying dark fruit. Still tannic and evolving, this was still the best California wine of the evening. Pretty nose, down playing ubiquitous oaky vanilla. Very good.
WOW! Deep, rich, ripe fruit aromas of cassis, blackberry, oak, spice and earth - somewhat bordeaux-like in complexity and depth - but with Napa intensity. Medium to full bodied with tremendous concentration and depth, and a super-rich texture. Massive fruits are balanced with an equally big structure of firm, smooth tannins and a big dose of acidity. Still extraordinarily youthful with intense fruit flavors that are still mostly primary. Long, rich, delicious, satisfying finish. This is an incredibly powerful wine that is still extremely youthful and a spectacular example of how great a Napa cab can be. Plenty of fruit and stuffing to last another 20-30 + years. This is going to be even more spectacular and a 98-100 point wine with some more time. 96+ for now.
Uncorked several hours before decanting one hour prior to service. As other tasters have noted this is moving somewhere between the primary fruit stage and the evolved notes which age can offer. For me it is in a great place since the fruit component is so velvety and harmonious and the tannins completely resolved. Creamy, cigar box nose with cocoa, dark chocolate and dark forest berries. The palate was rich yet elegant, ripe yet fresh, endowed with seamless black plums and cherries. Some blind tasters guessed Bordeaux... A stunning wine.
Decanted for service; a youthful purple core with no bricking. Aromas of very ripe black cherry, with hints of chocolate, blackberry and licorice. Medium to full bodied, jammy dark fruits -- chocolate covered cherry liquor! Not really my style, but outstanding for what it is.
Cork intact, but with a little staining to the end. Decanted and drank over 2 hrs. Ruby color with bricking. Musty nose that blew off to expose some sweet oak and dried fruit. Cherry and herb on the palate, silky finish. Fruit faded, though, and not very exciting.
Consensus favorite among four top flight domestic Cabernets at a Christmas dinner. The most balanced, polished, and sleek of the group, although it didn't lack for oomph. Exactly what I had expected - lots of cassis, mid-weight, fine tannins, perfect balance, and a great finish. Textbook.
From a magnm bottle, decanted about 1 hour, oak is not as pronnouced as last time, more balanced now, a big wine indeed and more time will likely benefit if you like a more Bordeaux style but if you like napa, drink up.
Rick's 50th birthday notes and my 10,000th post!; 11/24/2012-11/27/2012 (Chateau Rick): Sweet ripe red fruit on the palate. Nice weight on the mid palate but still very primary as the only two traits you really get are tannins and rich berries. Still a very burly powerful wine, I'm not exactly sure how it'll develop but one person who had it when it first opened, commented that it was too jammy, but it seemed to have changed into a sleeker ripe fruit after a few hours.
Drank from split (375). Popped and poured. Even from split this wine needs time. Initial wine was shallow and a bit hallow. Picked up weight and structure with time in the glass. Deep color and amazing leggs. Tannins soft, classic cab flavors and aromas - rich, smooth and elegant. This wine if properly stored has 20 years of life. Splits probably reaching peak now and over the next 2 - 4 years.
Splash decanted right before dinner. A 30 - 60 minute decant might have been better, as this opened up over dinner and last glass was the best. Very dark color. Nice, complex nose of chocolate covered cherries. Rich and smooth. Powerful. noticeable alcohol. I think this might be a touch better than the 2002. Drinking well now but will last for years.
This is a great example of a Cali cab blend, one of my favorites. I wouldn't want to drink wines of this style very often, but with a nice steak this is a fine choice.
From Magnum: Drinking beautifully. Pretty red cherry fruits balanced perfectly by bright acidity and sweet tannins. Velvet texture with long finish. Seamless from start to finish with no hot spots or rought edges. Wine is in a great window and likely holds for 5-10 more years. This was a real crowd pleaser.
Moderate tannins and smooth - signififcantly smoother than the 07 Artemis. No fruit on the nose. Not stunning but a great wine with a few years of life still.I enjoyed the tannins and silky smoothness. Note how Parker has suddenly given this a 99 rating last year. I see where he is going with this one.
Judgement Day - 2001 Bordeaux vs. 2001 USA Cabernet Blends (Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore - Skokie, IL): Tasted blind. I was pretty surprised by how this performed. Didn't have the elegant character that I feel like a lot of Insignia's can have. The nose seemed a bit candied with a heavy influence from the oak. Its palate was also modern with charcoal, brown sugar, espresso and dark fruit. I correctly pegged this as a Californian wine, but disagreed with the overall group rating it 10th out of 12 wines - the group rated it 3rd overall.
I had experienced a few less than spectacular Phelps wines recently (but still very good), so opening this from the cellargave me some pause. Opened 3 hours before. tasted and it was delicious. We will see. Parker just took it 99 from 95, but is it worth it. I disagreed with a recent Backus second review, but this was right on. Maybe not 99 but really really good. Great length across the palate, depth, and still the right tannins. Dark fruit was there and back of the throat was amazing. Well done, well done, well done!!!
This bottle was purchased upon release and cellared in pristine fashion. It was double-decanted, allowing two hours in decanter prior to funneling back into the cleaned bottle. The robe is a youthful-appearing opaque ruby. The nose opens during the first two hours to show very intense aromas of cassis, coriander, vanilla and minerals. Full-bodied on the palate, with low acidity, massive sweet tannins, well-integrated alcohol (which is listed as 13.9%) and black fruit-dominated flavors. The middle palate is rock-solid and silky in texture. The finish is long and smooth. This is quintessential Napa juice. It is luscious now, but will undoubtedly get even better. If you have the will power, hold it for another five years before popping the next cork. Drink 1/17-12/25.
DE Double blind Best Bottle (DE): Tasted double blind among other similarly priced wines of similar age. My blind notes: Appears young in the glass. Closed nose. dark berry fruit and some leather. Palate was bland and relatively uninteresting compared to others on the table. +++ tannins. Again I honestly think this would show better in a few more years. My 7th/9, group 4/9
Slight seepage. Cork partially saturated but not elevated. Barely drinkable right out of bottle so i let it sit in the glass for a couple hrs and it really transformed. Nose of mocha, espresso, and various dark fruits. Much more weight in the palate with time. Big dark fruits and chocolate notes. No perceptable heat. Very concentrated. Slightly drying but ripe tannins. Very long finish. Enjoy now with min 2hr decant or hold for 5 to 10 yrs.
I don't get it...I've had this before and loved it...this was too tannic, little fruit and little aroma and questonable balance...either it or I must be in some dumb phase! I hope the remaining bottles are better. Disappointed especially at this price point.
Popped, poured and consumed over the course of 2 hours. Made in a big, ripe and juicy style -- not really my preference when it comes to Bordeaux styled blends -- but a wonderful wine. Aromas of cassis, black cherry, and licorice with hints of campfire and roasted herbs. Full-bodied, with a firm structure, ripe (but prominent) tannins, a velvety texture, incredible depth, and a long and focused finish.
from a magnum bottle, intense nose of vanilla, cream and chocolate upon opening and lasted all the way to the end of 3 hours, amazing! Soft tannins with lots of black fruit and nuts, it almost felt like tasting a chocloate cake, we loved it.
Sunday Brown Bag Tasting (Rich & Dana's): Notes of herbs, chocolate and black currants. Full-bodied with sweet tannins and flavors of blackberry, blue fruit and violets. Ripe dark fruit notes dominate. Loads of dark fruit on the palate; tannins turn a bit chalky on the finish. 93 pts.
Double decanted in the cellar for 1 hour before heading out to Panzanella in Sherman Oaks. Good bottle, very ripe mid pallet. Still a little closed off. Probably needs a few more years to develop. Will try again next year.
Decanted for 4 hours before serving. Was very mild, perfectly balanced but definitely took a background to the steak we were eating along with some powerfully flavored sides. Less fireworks and more subtle perfection.
2001 California Cabernet Retrospective (South Haven, Michigan): Otis brought this wine to our Cal Cab retrospective. 3rd time I have had this wine going back to 2004. Not decanted. Dark purple color. Probably the tightest and most tannic of the wines in this lineup and could have used some decanted like the Pride. This had some vegetal and herbal nuances on the nose. Notes of cassis, tar and charcoal. Solid tannins. 91-92+ points.
Still pretty tight. Would recommend decating for at least 2-3 hours if opening now. Still, you could sense lots of interesting layers and fine-grained tannins lurking beneath. Will hold for at least another 3 years before trying the next bottle from this vintage.
Dark fruit, chocolate and vanilla on the nose. Similar flavor profile with some cassis, mocha and toasty oak notes on the palate. Medium tannins and acid. Smooth mouthfeel but somewhat hollow mid-palate and finished a bit short. Well made wine but not worth the tariff. I also wouldn't hold these too much longer as I don't see it improving dramatically.
Hard to assess the color; dark restaurant. Medium intensity nose; notes of black currant, baked black fruit, tobacco, spice box. On the palate, full bodied, low acid, medium-plus tannins, flavor notes that match the nose perfectly, very long finish. This wine is exquisite, perfectly balanced, and has outstanding structure. It will last another fifteen years easily. Drinking well now, but no hurry. I'm going to slow down my consumption--only four bottles left.
A very enjoyable wine. Really pleasant nose--sweet, fruit and some vanilla. Very well-balanced as usually the case for Insignia--this was our first bottle of the 2001. We thought it not as complex or long-lived as some of the better vintages, but still a very good wine with fruit, some wood/vanilla and soft tannins. Certainly drinking well now, but will hold up for some years.
Still a bit of a bruiser. More in the category of good and interesting than good and delicious. Competed with the steak more than it complemented it. I think there is still strong potential for this wine but I'm going to let the others slumber.
Final bottle and a beautiful wine. Right out of the bottle this showed some green notes and more acid/glycerin than I'd care for. At two hours in the decanter this had changed dramatically and showed more traditional bordeaux traits. Leather, faint tobacco, cherry on the nose, some creme de cassis; medium- bodied, fine-grained tannins, cherry notes, a little vanilla and oak. I imagine this will peak within a 2-3 years if its not there today; the tannin-structure gives me pause as to its longevity, and its drinking incredibly well with enough decant time.
Had lots of Insignia's, this one is drinking incredibly well. Some slight tanins left, so could age longer, but is very well balanced with strong fruits. Decanted for 3 hours, would recommend a long decant time. Drank with pork, was marvelous with food
Popped and let sit for 2 hours. Dark red in color with a typical Napa cab nose of sweet red fruits. Undistinguished flavors of cherry and currant. Nice balance and a nice wine. For the price I want to be really impressed -
New Year's Eve party -- WOTN as it should have been vs Showket, Heitz, Brunello Riservas. A dense, complex wine with lush dark fruit, hints of cigar box and tar. Perfectly balanced. Dark, slightly sweet fruit at mid-palate w/ silky mouthfeel and integrated tannins. I love this wine, but what is not to love. I agree with other reviewers that this vintage of Insignia seems more refined and elegant than others.
Delicious! Dark, brooding black purple color with wonderful cassis and blackberry aromatics. Balance, viscous, good acidity and just the right amount of palate cleansing tannins. A great showing at 9 years old, and just beginning its drinking window. With more complexity, the score will increase.
Great wine from nose through finish. A year ago I thought this was far too young and tightly wound. Tonight, with ample ample time in the decanter (around two hours), it was perfect. Well-balanced aromatics; lush fruit on the palate; medium to long finish. It still has plenty of years left in it, though. This wine deserves the hype. Highly recommended.
This wine is drinking very well now. Not as fruity and full bodied as younger cabernets in this price range, but more complex and subtle, with very good finish. I think it will improve over the next couple of years.
The fill was into the neck and the cork was sound. A blood red color, with no amber. Rather one dimensional bouquet, yielding aromas of black fruits and oak. Medium-bodied on the palate, with a bit too much wood for my liking; seemed surprisingly angular to me. Perhaps a bad bottle?
Last bottle. Probably should have opened earlier since it got a lot better after a couple hours when the tannins settled. First sip about completely dried my mouth out but over time it was more integrated. Also had Jack's Masterpiece, which was a very different wine but equally as good in the group's opinion.
Very complex wine, lots of casis, dark fruit,chocolate, cigar box, great nose, makes me want to keep smelling it. This wine definitely needs decanting , tannis is well integrated, very silky but can feel its presence, not big tannis as so many ppl said within the community tasing note.
Could it be that this is at it's peak now? Decanted for a long time (5-6 hr) and really delicious when first drunk with dinner. Big bright large flavors, still plenty of tannins. More flashy than harmonious. The surprise was that by late evening (9-10 hrs after opening), it wasn't nearly as good, and by the next day, it had completely fallen apart. Very different from earlier bottles. So either this is bottle variation, or it's time to start to drink these up.
Day one - fruit and tannin - good (very good) but not wow - below expectation. 90-92 points. Day two - big difference - opened up much more, much better mouthfeel - great dark fruit cabernet - 93-95 points.
Wonderful nose that this blend often offers - cranberries, violets, plums ahhh. Silky on the palate and a bit more delicate than recent vintages. Balanced. Plenty of life left. Decanted for an hour and didn't notice the tannins that others comment on as out of balance at all.
Excellent nose on initial pour, great mix of fruit and wood on the palate, smoooooth. Held together for a couple hours day 1. Day 2, not as good but I'm sticking with a day 1 rating of 94. Very nice wine, several years of life in it.
Very tight when we opened it. Paired with duck and short ribs for dinner. Paired better with the duck (rich sauce, cherries and thyme polenta). Opened nicely in the glass but didn't seem remarkable. We are glad that we didn't finish the bottle and took it home. Uncorked it the next day for sipping. Rich fruitiness and mouth feel, smooth, no harshness at all. Food might have ruined it. This is one where decanting would have improved it.
'01 Cab faceoff - Insignia vs. Pride Reserve. Right now Pride wins. Decanted Insignia for 30 min., rebottled for ride to restaurant, then reopened and again decanted for another hour+. Insignia was more subtle, revealing less fruit in nose & taste. Smooth, nicely built wine yet still tannic/tight, especially on the finish. This one needs more cellar time.
From magnum - the Cali hit parade continues. Like a lot of other '01's I have had recently, this bottle was in the zone, completely balanced, great bordeaux nose, cherry and blackberry flavors on palate, not overdone. Better than the '97 the night before, but that bottle probably will probably benefit from more age, whereas the '01 is ready now.
Wow. This is nice. Huge nose with cedar and dark fruit. Resolving tannins, chocolate and black fruit on the long palate. No flaws and a joy to drink. Not well matched with pulled pork. If you have these it is ok to start tasting.
The color alone gets the palate warmed up. Dark purple with a lush full sparkle. the nose is equally tantalizing with dark fruit and a hint of tar. The mid-palate fulfills the promise with dark berries, tar, herbs and a touch of earth. Tannis structure is firm and well integrated, but not sweet. The finish is a full 70 seconds and remains fully thick on the mouth. We decanted for 2 hours, and I think we could have gone a third. Wine is fine to drink now, if you own a few bottles, but would wait if you want to hit the peak.
Has upward potential. Much concentration of crushed black fruits, oak and touches of spices on the nose, full palate of flavors, rich, with chewy tannins. Really delicious to drink tonight, and much promise ahead. A very successful and long lived Insignia.
(Cult California Cabernet tasting @ Martin Weiner’s) The 2001 Insignia is a great wine. Deep purple color with a nose of vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and dark fruits. Plush, round mouth feel. Deep flavors of dark fruit, boysenberry and forest floor. Nice balance between the alcohol and fruit. 30 second finish. Drinking well now and should drink great for another 10 years.
Double decanted (3 hours) and took to restaurant. Nose was great at rebottling, strong cherry and fruits, but then closed down a bit. Eventually brought out chocolate and red fruits, but this was lighter bodied that I expected. Very good wine, but expected more for the price...
As expected, a real "lip smacker". Rich nose of dark fruit dominated by blackberry with some cassis, licorice, minerals and oak. Very rich and plush but with good structure and firm, drying tannins. Tremendous richness, concentration and complexity of flavors - everything is big, but also very nicely balanced. This wine is all about power right now, and while very drinkable, it is not yet completely seamless and the tannins are not yet fully resolved. I think it has plenty of fruit to stand up to the tannins, and believe improvement is likely with some additional bottle time.
FAbulous insignia that has a lot of life ahead of it. Strong notes of cassis, spice box, cocoa dusted and toasty oak. Nice structure in the mouth with a mouth filling finish thats very long. Grippy tannins show up on the end of the finish. Very intoxicating nose, I just kept sniffing and sniffing this wine. Had as a complement to steak au poivre and wild mushroom saute. Au poivre isn't the best pairning for this wine, but it was for the belly. 95 for me with some room for improvement, 97 for my wife. Hard to argue with either score. This wine was opened and let to breath on its own for 3 hours, then poured through a vinturi and consumed over another 3 hours.
Still a very young wine. Huge red fruit nose with a firm acidic spike on opening. Gave bottle about an hour of air time and this beauty just sang. Red fruits with some chocolate and still subtle oak. Tannins were so round and lush and just a pleasure to drink. Finish was endless and this beauty still has a real long life ahead of it.
Terrific magnum was thoroughly enjoyed with Noel and Sue in town. Decanted for 60-90 minutes. Classic Napa Cab on the nose with pure, refined black currants, blackberry, cedar/cigar box, a little oak, vanilla, and some nice spices. Ultra smooth, silky, full bodied palate had tons of fruit and fine tannins. Finished lingered 45 seconds...
Drank this in a vertical with the 2002 Insignia 100 point wine of the year, both were outstanding, 2001 not as complex as the 2002, but not that noticable. Outstanding bottle of wine, Napa's best offering I believe.
"Anniversary" Weekend at Rob & Lisa's; 5/29/2009-6/1/2009 (Scott's Valley, CA): Nose was distinctly Insignia in it's fullness, showing vanilla, blackberry, cassis, freshly tilled dirt, chocolate and a bit of mint. The taste showed pretty tightly wound for a good portion of this bottle with charred earth, anise, plum, cassis and vanilla flavors. Tannins are still quite fat and chewy, and really need a good 5 more years to begin to resolve. Overall this is a fantastic wine, but it needs quite a bit more time in the bottle to come together. I think I am a little jaded after having the 97, which was one of those cathartic wine experiences that will be near impossible to ever match up to.
Very fragrant nose of creme de cassis, mocha, and burnt sugar. Intense flavors of black currant and toasty oak. Unbelievable balance and finesse. Low acid transitions into a smooth finish. Tannins seem to be integrated at this point which makes me wonder if this wine is at it's peak. An amazing finish that leaves the currant/mocha flavors lingering for at least a minute. This is what a high end Napa Cab blend should be.....lives up to the name.
Dark. Powerfully fragrant, almost pungent with mocha, cassis and valrhona. Earth and a briary note are added on the palate, which is large scaled yet still more feminine than masculine, likely ample alcohol but hidden by all the fruit and low acid feel.
Consumed in a vertical tasting with the 2002 Insignia, paired with buffalo ribeye in a somewhat spicy seasoning. The 2001 was complex with a lot of subtle and varied flavor notes, but minimal remaining tannins, and probably at the peak of its suitability for consumption for my palate. In contrast, the 2002 still had strong tannins with the potential for continued aging. Both were outstanding wines, but the 2001 had enough subtlety that I would have enjoyed it more by itself than paired with a seasoned steak, while the 2002 stood up quite nicely to the hint of cayenne.
Very dark purple with a red rim; Creme de cassis aromas and flavors with a touch of oaky spiciness and a stunningly long finish. Very balanced with pure fruit and a wonderful velvety texture. This tasted very similar to the 1997 and was seriously good wine. Decanted about 30 minutes prior to dinner with improvement for the next two hours. Drink or hold.
Tasted for Cuchita Hernandez , el 21 Feb 2009, cumpleaños de Claudio, lo celebramos en (contumasia) con Lilia Sanchez y sus hermanas, lo acompañamos con un filete de res al horno de leña y luego unos quesos con sus respectivas mermeladas, excelente vino, hacîa mucho tiempo que no me tomada algo asî. Tiene un aroma exquisito y un color rubî oscuro que me fascina.
Decanted 3+ hours. Fairly restrained nose, bright red fruits and a touch of menthol. Wonderfully balanced on the palate. Red currant, chocolate, and a little fig. Soooo good. This is fantastic now, but as Insignia almost always does, it will get better towards 10+ years.
It's been a while since I've had an Insignia, almost forgot how much I like this wine. drinking very nicely now after about an hour or so decant. A wonderful Meritage wine with a nose of brown sugar, plums and vanilla oak. Lovely smooth palate of plum, chocolate, currants and fine grained tannins that envelope the long finish. Reminds me a little of the 97. I wish I had a few more of these to enjoy over the next 5-10 years.
Wine is at it's prime, nice Meritage blend that has softened tremendously since my first. As a large producer, it's hard to believe this wine holds to the quality level it does, avg. 18k cases a year. Chocolate starting to really push through.
Nose following initial pour showed some heat-> Decanted 3 hours, then fabulous rich layered nose of caramel, cassis, vanilla. Medium weight with seamless integration of fruit & tannin which formed a solid foundation, great structure for the long haul. A cllass act. 94
Excellent wine!!! I bought this 4 years ago with some birthday cash and saved it for my 51st with my wife. Our first Insignia and the last of many 2001 California Cab based wines we enjoyed over the years and as they say "save the best for last". Rich deep color with the thinnest legs on a glass of wine we had ever seen. On the nose black fruits with a touch of hazelnut that was very interesting in a wine. Also some floral notes and hint of rich loam. On the palate a smooth, lingering, seductive finish without any harshness so I think this bottle was at the peak. A pedigree and even more impressive considering the volume of their production. Will save the 99 Insignia for 1 more year.
Decanted for 2 hrs. Nice dark fruit, currant, cherry nose. More of the same up front but not as decadent as some of the other JPI vintages. Very smooth with medium long finish. I believe this vintage could be losing its edge and should not be held too much longer.
I GET IT!!! I understand the buzz of Insignia!! I can't describe it because I drank it last month but smooth, delicious, balanced. Ready to drink now!! The best wine I have ever tasted. Try it, it is worth every cent!!! I will be looking for more!! I can't wait to try the 2002. How ever will I be patient?!
With the exception of obviously bad vintages overall, I personally only notice very subtle differences between different vintages of Insignia. Some are just a little more fruit forward, some are a little more restrained and some with a little more of a tannic backbone. This bottle was great in all the ways that Insignia is great and no single characteristic really stood out above the rest. Everything was in harmony. Very lush and rich all around. An absolutely excellent wine but is it better then the 99? I am not sure that it is or maybe the 99 is just a little more open and evolved and that made it show a little better. I was surprised at the blend, with 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and just a splash of Petit Verdot and Malbec. No Cab Franc or Merlot in this one.
Dark purple color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Tight nose giving way to notes of brown sugar, plums, currants and violets. Flavors of currants, plums, berries and a bit of pepper on the medium to long finish. Medium acidity, firm tannins, full bodied. I'd recommend holding. Despite the nose being slightly tight I'd say this is one of the better bottles of the 2001 Insignia I've had to date. It might be coming around a bit.
Opened to celebrate our last Sunday dinner in CA...was initially very closed and had a slightly off smell (was obviously sleeping). Opened after a couple hours in the decanter with dark fruit and subtle oak. Mild upfront fruit with a strong midsection and the lingering finish of cedar, oak, and dark fruits we have come to love from JP. Drinking well now but still has a long life ahead.
Part of 2000 , 2001 , 2002 mini vertical , my wine of the night , started out quite tight but opened up into a great wine with a finish that went on & on . Has the backbone to stand up for a while but cut thru a slab of prime rib w/ ease . very tasty
Ive had a couple corked Insignias in a row so I had to try this one to break my streak. this did the trick. Decanted for an hour while we drank another bottle but the nose was of black cherries and cola. Still very big with a firm acidity. Mouthfeel turned soft with more air giving way to the cola maoch dark cherry flavors. Long wonderful finish this is drinking beautifully now but still has plenty of time left.
Tasted April 3, 2008. Opened and decanted 2 hours before serving over the next hour. Dark garnet color in the glass, vibrant and attractive hue. Nose of black currants, stewed plums, smoke and white pepper. Flavors of black berries, black cherries and tart berries on the finish. Medium to high acidity, firm tannins, full body. I'd recommend holding for another 5 years myself for what it's worth.
Huge and impressive. The wine is drinkable now. It took quite a bit of time to open up in the decanter, but it obviously has many, many years left in it. Tannins are still quite evident, but not objectionable. Exquisitely balanced. Rich mouth feel. Notes of berries, dark red fruits, leather. Incredible finish.
From .375: Decanted 2 hours, consumed over the following 4 hours. Nice red fruit on the nose. Well-integrated blackberry flavors, with tobacco, some faint oak and an alcohol burn. Towards the end of the 4 hour drinking window the alcohol had virtually disappeared, and the wine became far better-balanced. This was tasted alongside a .375 of the 2001 Montelena Estate, and was a better wine overall, with more complexity and a noticeable CaliCab profile, where the Monty was a little "flatter" and more bordeaux-like.
Grand Jury Chicagoan - 2001 Cab Merlot (Restaurant Michael): Rich fruit-forward aromas of chocolate covered cherries and vanilla leap from the glass. It seems very Foley-esque on the effusive nose. Palate has forward rich fruits with big tannins that are coming through and offering balance. Clear group favorite in the flight, with consensus that this was California. Many thought it was the Pride Reserve. This was the #2 WOTN for the group. In my top 5 for sure. 95 – 97 points
This wine was consumed with Thanksgiving dinner and was decanted for over 3 hours before it was drunk. WOW, what a change. The last time I tried this I almost gave away my last 2 bottles. It was closed down and almost like red water. What a difference a little bottle age can do! Big black fruits, really fine integrated tannins, a lingering taste of almost a minute or more. Just an awesome example of a great Californis Cabernet blend.
Terrific magnum enjoy by all at the Doherty's 25th anniversary dinner with grilled filet mignon. Fantastic refined nose of cigar box/cedar, black currants, and some spice. Silky smooth on the palate with perfectly integrated tannins with tons of blackberry fruit, caramel and vanilla. Superb 30+ second finish. Seems to be drinking very well now, but should continue to age for several years.
A very rich wine at this point loaded with spicy, plummy fruit. Quite large-scaled but definitely not over the top and it holds its alcohol well. The tannins are big but smooth and the wine possesses great grip and balance despite its size. A gorgeous Insignia in the making from by far the best Napa vintage of the new century. Should be perfect in another 2-3 years. 93+
Opened a bottle today -- it's been a year since the last tasting and o what a difference a year makes. can really pick up the vanilla scent and the tannins had also mellowed. still has a load of fruit and probably a few more years to go to fully evolve but this wine drinks well right now. MmMmm.
One of the top wines I have ever had! This was the WOTN for me among 3 other blockbusters, not to mention one of the best meals of my life at Blackbird. '99 Fisher Wedding, '04 Buccella, and '03 Lewis Cellars. The balance of this wine was almost perfect, and the oak has integrated so well without overpowering the fruit. The finish was as smooth as gelato from Florence on a hot day and as soft as the Venison we had that night. Can't wait to drink more Insignia!
Opened, decanted & consumed over two hour period. Medium ruby color just beginning to show appropriate hints of fading at the rim. Nice somewhat muted aromas of dark currant & cedar. The acid tannin balance makes for great food pairing. Initially this was quite tight & showed only hints of dark berries & some oak on the palate. Great mouth feel during the entire time and while it did open up after 1hr to reveal more dark cherry & blackberry flavors, never seemed to evolve or expand it's profile. Still young and plenty of years ahead but not displaying the level of complexity typical of previous vintages at this stage of evolution.
Surprisingly ripe, supple, rounded, and full of fruit for this wine given the vintage and the relatively young age. Cedar and fruit on the nose. A bit of vanilla on the attack, followed by blackberry, kirsch, hints of licorice. Soft, velvety mouthfeel. Tannins seem almost too soft and well-integrated for the age, but it did not keep this from being incredibly tasty. Given the evolution, I'd say to consume this over the next 3-4 years.
Probally the best wine I've had in my short drinking career. Drank for dinner with GOLV, dinner consisted of grilled rib-eye, grilled corn, and parmesan rosemary twice baked potaotes. Decanted about 45 minutes.
Very well made with typical California Cab aromas of blackberry, vanilla, cedar complimented by hints of chocolate and a little meatyness. Integrated flavors abound with smooth tannins and wonderful balance throughout the mid-palate all the way through a minute plus finish. This wine is perfect right now.
The butteryness of the rib-eye and Insignia was one of the best food pairings I've ever had.
Decanted for about an hour, per recommendations of other CT reviewers. Nose was rich and perfumed: boysenberry syrup was the first thing that hit me, and at different points in the evening I got caramel, blackberry, and oak.
The feel of this wine in the mouth was wonderful, and to me is one of the things that shows its pedigree. Perfectly integrated tannins--while this may have a lot of life left, I don't see that it will get any better than it is now. It is great.
Opened and decanted for dinner at Social Hollywood. Aromas of dried cherries and cranberries, cocoa powder, black truffles, and just hint of cedar. On the palate, this wine starts off very silky with dark cherry, loamy earth, and herbs. The judicious use of oak has been fully integrated. With food -- I had the Filet Mignon with Lobster Bordelaise -- the acidity kicks in and helps to cut through the richness of the dish. Although the finish was initially on the short side, it did actually seem to become more protracted with time in the glass. By the end of the meal, about 2+ hours later, the wine was still very vibrant and textured and was showing absolutely no sign of fading. Although it is drinking very well right now, and has shed nearly all of its baby fat, it is still IMO very much a youngster. I will probably wait another year before even thinking about opening another one. 92-93 points. P.S. LB was much less impressed with this wine, but then again, she's a tough cookie when it comes to cab-based wines. I guess that's what happens when you are weaned on Shafer HSS.
Drank at Peter Lugers over 2 hours...Deep, rich purple with a fruit forward lush Insignia presentation...Drinking very well for an 01 right now, still might/should improve with more bottle age...Smooth and primary with a long finish
Been about a year since I had one. Great wine. Rich and deep. Decanted for one hour and followed for another 2. I thought at about 2.5 hours it actually tightened up and showed more espresso type oak notes. Next bottle, I'll stick to an hour decant and serve. Intense cassis with a minor blue and blackberry role. Has some chocolate covered espresso beans as well. Supple smooth rich low acid mouthfeel. A big wine, but luxurious. 96 pts.
Pinot Envy had a bottle of this opened at her home when we visited last weekend. It had been open for a few days. Dark inky red color. A smokey nose. Dry tannins. Little fruit. Over all the wine seemed tired and oxidized from being open so long. No score.
This wine was paired with a standing rib roast, garlic mashed potatoes, and saute bok choy. The wine was decanted for 4 - 5 hours. A solid cabernet with good complexity and flavor. The tannins were still quite present but were beginning to soften with the decanting. Unfortunately, this bottle was over shadowed by a 2001 Dunn H.M.
Beautiful inky black, deep and rich with not even a hint of fading at the rim. The nose is pure creme de cassis; an utterly delicious combination of currant, spice, vanilla and other scents greets your nose long before it is close to the glass. Still young and primary, this wine coats my palate with berries and vanilla in a thick, rich layer. Tannin and acidity present and in need of a bit more integration. The finish goes on and on! This wine will only get better with time. Would love to re-visit this beuaty in 5 or 10 years. Could be as good as the '97.
Christmas dinner at Ron and Christina's. Pretty flat experience. Not a lot of fruit. A bit thin, compared to other Insignia I have had in the past, especially the 1994 and 1997. Hopefully this will get better with age.
Very nice Insignia with some real potential. Well balanced but still too young. It did improve over a couple of hours but I will wait at least another year before I try again. Rich fruit with classic dark berry flavor. Accessible now but should improve from here.
Amazing. Black chery, blackberry, annis, mint, graphite, vanilla, possibly a little garlic or white pepper. Extremely well-blananced in every way and fantastically crafted balance between fruit and bouquet. Velvety tannins. A wine everyone can enjoy, and perhaps my new 'ideal' cabernet.
Had as part of a birthday dinner with friends next to an 03 David Arthur Elevation. Stunning wine. Very concentrated, nose of cassis and oak. Wonderful on the palate. This is an incredibly well-balanced wine with a very long finish.
Great bottle of wine, took some time to open up (decanted 2 hours). Still very tight. Very rich with intensity of fruit, but restrained. I had this next to the 2002 and the 2002 had much more open personality. Both wines had incredible purity of fruit, classic Insignia silkiness. The 2002 had the 2001 by a nose.
Tasted October 14, 2006 at win’s 40th birthday party. Served blind in a Riedel restaurant series Bordeaux wine glass. Bag labeled as “Mustang”. Purple color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Nose of violets, incense and a touch of balsalmic (maybe from the previous wine?). Flavors of blackberries, currants and maybe some licorice? Medium acidity, firm tannins and medium body. Seems young. Hold. No guess on the wine.
Dinner with Steve Sigmund and Jeff Samuelson (Insignia and Pavie): Popped and poured. Definitely should have been decanted in advance. The color is an opaque red trending towards purple with no lightening at the rim. The dominant smell is dark fruit. You could name other aromas with some coaxing, but really they are dominated by the fruit at this point. On the palate this is concentrated -- almost syrupy -- giving more sweet dark fruit and a touch of vanilla. This is still very tannic, but finishes nicely with good concentrated fruit. Has all the raw materials to develop into a special bottle of wine, but needs a few more years at least.
Dinner @ Restaurant Alma. Popped and poured; tasted side-by-side with a 94 Insignia and 98 Pavie. This was my bottle, and I probably should have decanted it several hours beforehand. There is a great core of black fruit here, but the dominant impression was of sweet brown sugar. Closed down immediately after pouring and never really opened back up. The mouthfeel is very supple, and there is a lot of tannin on the finish. Excellent wine that clearly needs more time to integrate.
Opened my first of 6 '01s and it's easy to see what the fuss is about. Completely delicious on the first day and even better on the second. The nose and flavor profile of this wine have been very nicely described by other CTs but what is special about this wine, and so many other great ones, is the way it feels in the mouth; the combination of great concentration with a velvety or glycerin-like texture. Just makes you want to drink more. Appeals to pros and novices alike. If you have more than one, it's definitely time to start drinking them.
Tasted June 21, 2006 at LaSalle Grill in South Bend, IN. Purchased from the restaurant wine list for $240.00 a bottle. Opened and decanted about 1 hour before serving in a Cabernet Sauvignon glass. Also glass decanted during this same period. Attractive purple color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Nose of dark fruits such as currants and plums along with some nice chocolate notes. Palate was still a little tight giving way to some notes of black cherries and black berries. Rounded tannins with fresh acidity. Medium to full bodied. Opened too soon. I’d recommend holding another year or two before trying again. Downgrading my previous score of 94 points to 93 points. Based in the advance price from the winery of $90.00 a bottle (I also have this wine in the cellar) I’d say the value is still recommended but I must admit I’m beginning to waffle at that price point.
This still has years to go but is like a classic already. At first a little hot but within 30 minutes everthing seems in balance. A joy to drink and to have a few more for the future. You don't have to swirl or even get you nose close to the glass to get the beautiful aroma.
Cab Lovers of NYC Insignia Vertical (Zoe): Tightly wound beast, this is wonderfully put together and could eventually be the best of the lot. Densely packed fruit (plum, blackberry, sour cherry) with notes of cedar, leather and mint. Great balance-powerful but elegant. Long finish. It should be cellared now to let the tannins resolve but this is a great wine. Tied for WOTF.
Decanted 2 hrs prior to dinner. Nice black fruits on the nose, with clove and other spices, with the fruit continuing on the palate. Very fine tanins early in the drinking period, but they dissipated about an hour into dinner. Smooth and refined. Not sure its worth the pricetag, but very enjoyable.
Decanted for about 3 hours. Deep garnet color. Plum, cedar, blackberry, cherry and mint aromas. A powerful wine for sure, but there's an elegance to this wine as well. Plush and rich, with abundant dark fruit flavors lasting throughout the long finish. Plenty of structure, but more than enough fruit to balance this out.
It was around 85 degrees outside where we were tasting it at the winery. We had already tasted more than 20 wines at that morning and this one still stood out. I would guess (the conditions were not at all ok to get a grip on scoring) definitely over 90 points.
Insignia is always a solid bottle. As much as I always like them, I find them just short of extraordinary. Tons of dark fruit. Plums, blackberry, a touch of vanilla, and an undertone of licorice which stayed with it all night. Drinking very well right now. Will definitely age nicely.
Decanted 45 min. Had this at Ruth's Chris with the Porterhouse, medium. Simply awesome! Liquid velvet texture, clean full port-like flavors but not too sweet. The 2001 and 2002 Insignias are quite a pair!
2001 California Cabernet tasting (Montelena, Insignia, Pride, Paloma, Neal, etc.) (San Marcos, Texas): As fate would have it, this was the last wine in the flight and what an ending it provided! Deep dark ruby with an intense nose of roasted coffee, yummy blackberries and spice. This wine was soooo good, with layers upon layers of flavors, filling the mid palate with fruitful intensity. This wine is so balanced and in harmony with the alcohol, tannin, fruit and acidity all in check. Full bodied, low acid wine has very ripe tannin and a long, intense finish made this my, and most tasters', choice for wine of the night! I correctly guessed it was the Insignia.
Hmmm...cedar, vanilla, oak and licorice jump from the glass. Concentrated, but not entirely focused...I might even say a little disjointed. Sweet and ripe, full bodied, but tannic. Right from the bottle I first thought Right Bank, but that changed quickly. Cocoa powder and again oak. This has the makings of an excellent wine, but the oak needs to integrate and the tannin needs to soften. Still enjoyable today, but not mindblowing. Give it plenty of time...at least 7 years.
Deep black cherry and cassis Cabernet notes. Weighty and pure, with good balance throughout and classically structured grainy tannins. Some minty notes. Noticeable chocolate oak and a youthful astringency on the finish.
Had with Dad. Tannins were ever present, but still had a smooth finish. Good fruit, but not a ton--hints of black currant (I still think that the 1997 was a bit more complex). Suggest giving it only 10-30 minutes of time before consuming.
Phelps Insignia Vertical 15+ Years: Vertical tasting. Not my favorite vs. others in the group. Lots of good fruit but this was the one vintage that came across as somewhat manipulated to me, and came across as a bit oaky, which (to me) his what seemed to be wonderful fruit with great acidity. I think this just needs time for the oak to integrate so I hope to try again 2010 or later - i think there's something I will find very exciting.
It's been a wicked few weeks at the office and today my boss stepped down. I called my wife and had her uncork a bottle of 01 Insignia to have it ready to drink when I got home. Lots of black cherry and dark fruit flavor packed in this wine. Subdued notes of chocolate and black licorice. Really accessible, round tannins on the palate...Drinking super well right now....
More than posting a tasting note, I wanted to say thanks to this board. Over the last few weeks when the days at the office have been long, challenging and uncertain, turning to wine and the love of my family, reading the posts on this bb and focusing on my collection has been a great distraction from the bitter reality of the real world.
It's been a wicked few weeks at the office and today my boss stepped down. I called my wife and had her uncork a bottle of 01 Insignia to have it ready to drink when I got home. Lots of black cherry and dark fruit flavor packed in this wine. Subdued notes of chocolate and black licorice. Really accessible, round tannins on the palate...Drinking super well right now....
375 Bottle. Decanted for 90mins. Deep coloring, soft but expressive aromas of ripe black fruits, maybe some coffee. Thinner than expected but drinking extraordinarily well at the moment, particularly as the decant time lingers on. Watery-blackberry flavors dont' seem "over the top" and structure is extremely well-balanced. Granted it's a split, but it has me wondering if this will age as long as most say. Continue to follow over the coming 2 years.
Its funny, every time i've had this wine it gets that much better. Yet, not unlike most treasures, I can't keep my hands off it. This wine is sweet, dense and concentrated, has about as much stuffing as i've seen, yet offers such immediate gratification. Blackberry, tons of milk chocolate, eucalyptus, almost confectionary, this is about as sexy a cab one can find in my opinion. Creamy expresso and sultry vanilla give way to a lengthy finish. Just awesome.
[LBK: steak, portos, tomatoes] Initially felt tight and extracted. The nose was great with ripe, lush fruit, smoke and some mint; smelled like Napa; on the palate, menthol, smoke, and tannins. Over 3 hours, settled down with cassis, smoke, mint, minerals, and big tannins. By the 5 hour mark, the tannins and menthol qualities felt more in balance. Overall though it lacks balance, it may be better than the ’97. Look forward to sampling over the next 5-7 years.
Wow this wine is young. It needs a lot of time. If you want to drink it now, decant it for at least 1 hour and it's better after 2. Great Aromas of Cherry and chocolate. Wine finishes long with a strong oak and heavy tannin. I'll give it another 5 years before I try again.
It was really closed when it was poured since the bottle was not decanted. I let it sit in my glass for about 45 minutes while I tried the other wines being poured. It opened a little more but not much. I'm sure the richness and complexity of this wine will come out with time. Rather tannic and closed now. Medium to full bodied. I believe this wine will end up being superior to either the 1999 or 2000 Insignia's. It is on par with the 1991 Insignia but not as good as the 1997. 92-93+ points.
Farmington Wine Class - 2001 California Cab Tasting. Now this is what I'm looking for in a California cab! Saturated inky black color. Deep, compelling nose, full of sappy dark fruit, cassis, coffee, mint, and cedar. Brooding and tight, but still expressive, and should just get better with time. A bit closed right now on the palate, but deep, with loads of dark fruit, chocolate, and blueberry syrup. Impeccable balance, and a long, long finish. Ths wine improved even as it sat in the glass. I'm not sure how much it's going to evolve, but it should certainly improve with age as it opens up and becomes more accessible. Not cheap, but still well worth buying.
Definite nose of cassis, dark berry and earth. I got the nose, plus a mouthful of Malbec flavor. Complex blend, but softly tannic. Not clear it will develop over time. Less overall similar to the 97 and 99 vintages. 01 Darioush tasted at the same time by our group was the clear winner. More tannic, depth and complexity.
Tom brought this for us to enjoy, as it is not yet released. The nose shows caramel, vanilla, oak, and blackberries. Hopefully with time the oak will soften and let the fruit shine. The palate is fairly soft with a velvety mouthfeel. Overall it is softer than the 99 but in perfect balance.