A very deep ruby color, red rim, opaque center. The nose is classic cab, black current and black cherry, hints of graphite, earth, licorice, dried flowers and herbs. Very clean and appealing. All that fruit shows up on the palate, and it is sweet and ripe without being jammy or overdone. After the fruit, tar and licorice come to the fore, and there is good balance between ripeness and acidity. After about an hour and a half, the wine began to tighten up, and seem more tannic and closed. There is a lot of grip still in this wine, and I think I might wait at least a few more years before opening another. The pedigree is very evident in this wine.
This has calmed down since the last time I had it a couple years ago, great fruit, squid ink, mint, and a good amount of oak still. This is a great wine and by itself I imagine I might have thought it was even better but in the flight with an '07 Maybach and '07 Ovid it did not have the balance that they have.
Big cab dinner at Morton's - 07 Maybach, Ovid, Insignia and etc. (Morton's - Reston, VA): This already feels very “Insignia” with a hint of eucalyptus and polished palate. Expressive nose displaying cassis, mint, ink and eucalyptus. Excellent concentration, nicely layered fruits, silky and round, nicely integrated tannins and long finish. Based on the 07 Maybach and this, the 07s seem to have lost “port” like expression hence showing better overall balance. The least cult cab like cab of the evening.
- Garnet color. It's balanced with a medium/full body. Polished texture with a medium finish - Beautiful nose! So balanced. Paired with tenderloin over charcoal. The combination of fruit and structure after a 1 hour decant is great with the beef and sides. The tannins and backbone of the bottle is striking......thumbs up.....
Filling in w/the Friday Brown Bag Group (R&D's): Perfumed black fruit, vanilla, spice and more florals. Lavender and violet qualities over cassis and blue fruit. Full-bodied with fine, sweet tannins and flavors of black cherry, cassis, blue fruit and chocolate/mocha. Long finish. Wonderful stuff. 94-95 pts. Guessed Napa Cab blend.
So it turns out that our host split a magnum of Insignia into two bottles (sneaky!). It was amazing how much better the 2nd portion of it was- none of the chalkiness to the tannin structure and much more floral and pretty.
Filling in w/the Friday Brown Bag Group (R&D's): Opaque inky color. Coffee, chocolate, blue and balck fruit and charred toast notes. Firm, chalky tannins support black fruit, coffee and chocolate qualities. Long finish, but here again the tannins have a grainy quality. Fairly easy to pick out, and I guessed 2007 Napa cab blend.
Dark purple plum in color. A glorious nose of blackberry, mint, eucalyptus, rose and cedar. Interesting palate. Initially lots of black fruits, earth and tobacco. No tannin, balanced and long finish. This was popped and poured. Drank about half bottle over 2 hours with small pours with each glass consistently beautiful. With last glass, however, a tannic quality emerged. Not sure what this means.. In sum, a great bottle, but a few more years is suggested.
Beautiful wine - turned into a stunning meritage over 2 hours or so - just winder what if I'd let it go another 2 hours or more based on some of these reviews
Opened with alot of fruit on the nose but after decanting the terror started coming in and creating a very elegant blend. Tannins were no longer forward and really served as a nice backdrop. What started out on the blackberry currant side developed into a nice licorice/anise background with mushroom undertones.
Been drinking Insignia since the 1990's and while not a powerhouse in terms of its punch, this is one of the better vintages in terms of restrained elegance.
Wish there was another bottle in the cellar to open 5 years from now. Hopefully I'll be afforded that opportunity some time in the future.
OBX dinner, with filet mignon, a smooth superb offering with excellent structure. Notes of anise, creosote, licorice, cedar, mint, black cherry, blackberry. Decanted and enjoyed over 4 hours. excellent.
Decanted for 2.5 hours before service; while it was drinkable at that point, I think 6-8 hours would have been better. On the nose, initially some port-like reductive notes that quickly blew off to reveal a mix of crushed currants, damp forest, and a faint hint of smoky oak. On the palate, straight ahead Napa cab, with more currants, a bit of mid-palate sweetness, and some herbal/vegetal complexity waiting to show itself with more cellar time. The tannins are neither harsh nor dominant, but they're there, and I think another 5+ years will yield significant upside.
Color: Very very dark purple - almost black. A beautiful violet near the edge is very notable when swirling the wine in the glass. Great clarity on the edge. Lots of legs noted on the sides of glass.
Aroma: Incredible vibrant dark cherry and plum fruit with a hint of spice along with a definite sense of alcohol. A definitively big, but expressive wine.
Initial Palate: Mouth-filling tannins the moment the wine hits the mouth, but really softening up in the back of the mouth. Very dark fruit initially becomes brighter and more red on the back and on the long finish. The finish is not nearly as long as the phenomenal 2002 vintage which just went on and on for minutes. Still, this is a rich and decadent wine.
Subsequent tastes: The wine really changed quickly (to my surprise and delight) with time and swirling in glass (over a 10 to 20 minute period). Tannins softened and wine began to become round and quite elegant (but still big). More and more cherry with less plum and blackcurrant. Fruit now evident from beginning to end, becoming more complex.
Overall impression: This is already a great sexy wine and with aging it should only evolve and get better. I did not pair with food, but there is no doubt that would also help soften the tannins and bring out the luscious fruit flavors.
Dark, meaty red color. Viscous, thick. Dark red fruits, slight cassis. Mouth filling tannins. Still very young. Complex and layered. Finish goes on and on. Delicious. Needs 1 hour decant. (Doris-too tannic)
Still one of my favorite wines and seems to be moving along nicely. Last time trying was 2011. Loaded with black fruits, and developed some nice spice to it. Still has firm tannins and ready to go for a lot longer.
Wow, the 2007 Insignia is singing right now. Christmas Eve with prime rib. Decanted for two hours. Ripe black fruits. Good spread and balance. Finishes with medium tannins. Pleasant is an understatement.
Very nice example of Insignia, but might benefit from more age. Pours with an inky purple-black color. Decanted for an hour. Nose of blackberry and similar on palate with subtle vanilla. Finishes with stronger alcohol than expected. Medium-long finish.
Deep purple color. Drank with only 30 minute prior opening-- could have used more. Wonderfully complex wine that I think can use some more time. I used to love young Insignias, but as I have begun to let them age, I think my palate is becoming accustomed to the complexities and balance of their later years. This needs at least another two or three years in cellar.
Second Sunday Group: 2007 California Cabs/blends (R&D's): Aromas of blue and black fruit and vanilla. Shows a little hot at first, then black cherries and florals. Flavors of chocolate, cassis, black fruit and violets. Subtle caramel note on the finish. Structured, but the tannins are very fine and slightly sweet. Long finish. 94+ pts.
PNP: Color of dark purple red. Strong scents of blackberry and dark fruit. Tastes prominently of blackberry and dark berry fruits, with nice bold (but not overwhelming) tannins. This tastes like a young and assertive powerhouse wine. After 2hr decant: Color of dark purple red. Scents of blackberry and dark fruit are still prominent, and have only barely mellowed. Tastes prominently of blackberry and dark berry fruits, with nice bold (but not overwhelming) tannins. Now clearly displaying taste characteristics of a young vintage of a top notch Napa Valley cab blend.
Drank after Shafer HS as a birthday premium wine experience. This did not live up to my memory of this wine from the release party or current expectations. Clearly not ready. 6 hour decant and still tight as a drum, dark, earthy with strong graphite and tobacco notes, especially on the finish. When first opened the nose was gorgeous and then closed up tight as a drum. Clearly a wine with big potential if the fruit can reappear someday.
After the rave review Parker gave this wine a few years ago, on top of it's being of the 2007 Napa vintage, I went out and purchased several bottles 4 years ago. Have cellared ever since, anticipating the day I opened one. However, upon uncorking and decanting in glass about 30 minutes, I was disappointed. While quite good, the wine did not live up to a 97-100 point billing. Predominately graphite with still sharp tannins that contributed to a bit of a bitterness in the mouth as well. After sitting in bottle 24 hours, it did open some and improve. However, at this time, I would not rate this higher than a 90-91. Hoping the remaining bottles I have will continue to improve with more aging and that this wine will ultimately live up to its original billing.
Multiple tastings with consistent notes, though my ratings seem to be all over the place. Dark, luscious fruit flavors. Really improved after 24 hours in the decanter. This could use more cellar time, although the tannins seemed fully integrated even now. One of my favorite wines in a fantastic vintage.
PNP and delicious right out of the bottle. Still very dark in color and fruit profile, the rough edges have settled down considerably, and this is in a great place right now. Rich, deep dark and savory fruits with enough structure to keep it lively. Great mid-palate and finish. Bravo.
not ready but enjoyable. if you open now it demands a few solid hours decant. the longer the better.
velvety is an overused term, but this wine earns it. dense blackberry, chocolate, and espresso, but this is far from a fruit bomb. right now the mineral and savory notes dominate the palate. graphite, tar, sanguine.
I left 1/4 of the bottle with the cork in overnight. day two the wine is especially pleasant. still lots of tannin and structure but the fruit is more expressive while none of the palate lost any of its luster from the night before.
this was a gift, but given the price of this bottle, whether you have only one in your cellar or a whole case, I'd give it another year at minimum. you can drink this now and still enjoy it but WOW is it going to be better in a few years! Patience.
Deep flavors of blackberry, plum, cassis, graphite. Tannins are still very hard, tight, mouth-filling. Needs more time in the bottle. A bit of ... cork?...moldy notes, kept this from a higher rating. This was my first of 8 bottles. Will re-visit later in the year.
Multiple tastings with consistent notes. Dark, luscious fruit flavors that just won't quit without being jammy or over the top. Very nice aromatic balance, the tannins are still a bit too hard and with a few more years of cellaring, should be even better. Even so, drinking fabulously right now. Everything comes together here, a great producer, a great vintage, great result.
We did an Insignia 2001, 2003 & 2007 vertical tasting with some friends. the 01 & 03 were fantastic. You could definitely tell the 07 was on its way to being a great wine, but needs more time in the bottle. On its own, I would probably have given it a higher score, but side by side, it did not yet match up with the older vintages.
Incredible bottle of wine tonight. Sean rates it up there will Hill of Grace. It was amazingly smooth, silky, powerful exquisite nose - best Insignia I can remember. Seems like it could even still improve. This win has truly benefited from cellaring.
this was terrific. we had this at el paseo with filet mignons, side by side against a 05 harlan maiden. i thought this outclassed that wine by a wide margin. dark fruit, tobacco, chocolate, lots of layers of fruit, oak well integrated, long finish. def a wine at a youthful peak and probably has at least 10 years of cellaring before losing too much fruit. i really enjoyed this a lot.
Drank to celebrate the Seahawks Super Bowl Victory. Color was as dark as Payton Manning's view. Nose was as strong as a Cam Chancellor hit, full of licorice, blackberry, and smoke. Flavor was as smooth as Earl Thomas flying to the ball, dark cherry/plum fruits, coffee, integrated tannins. Earthy, licorice finish as long as the victory parade. Beautiful balance, not trying to overpower you with high alcohol or overly concentrated flavors.
Decanted about 7 hours, then consumed over the next 6. Small amount of very fine sediment. It was just too good to keep in the decanter overnight. Wow, this is an impressive wine indeed. I have to agree with RP's stratospheric rating. Dark, luscious fruit flavors that just won't quit without being jammy or over the top. Very nice aromatic balance, the tannins are still a bit too hard and with a few more years of cellaring, should be even better. Even so, drinking fabulously right now. Everything comes together here, a great producer, a great vintage, great result.
From a 375 ml bottle. Very dark purple, almost opaq. Explossive and continuously evolving nose with tar, anise, fennel, dark chocolate, blackberry and cinnamon. Full-bodied, dense and creamy-textured yet nicely balanced. Tannins are still quite firm but of excellent quality and oak is noticeable but by no means intrusive. The power of fruit helps here. Very long aftertaste. A great Napa cab at its very early drinking phase. Keep for another 5 years. Excellent pairing with pork fillet fried in butter with smoked cheese and scotch whisky (my wife's recipe).
Incredibly smooth, yet full of structure and depth. No fruit bomb at all, but rather complex and built for aging gracefully. A long 45-60 second finish that changes with time in the glass. A classic 07 cab....
93-94: This wine has taken a leap forward since I last tasted it last December. The tannins and acid have mellowed, but the fruit remains reticent. Dark, mouth-filling, and finishes long, but either isn't the bottle WS thought it was, or just needs time. Very good, but paled before the 2001 Cos that preceded it.
Decanted for a couple hours before consuming. Real classic napa cab, great fruit and purity, lots of oak but kept in check at this point so I wouldn't be worried about it. Needs some time like others have said, but decanted for several hours it will be drinking well.
I should have read my 3/2/13 note before opening another bottle. This wine needs more cellar time. It has great potential, but is still very primary. The tannins need to soften significantly. I'll try another bottle in 2017.
lower score because I think it is too early. The nose it great but the wine is not great. seems to have the right stuff but even after a couple hours it seems like it is not all together. I plan to wait a few years before opening another bottle
2007 California Cabernets (Casa de Cove): This wine showed well blind against 07 Anderson's Conn Reserve, 07 Seven Stones and 07 Antica Cab. I've had three bottles of this over the last year and I don't think it's opening up more, I found it closing a little bit. All that you would expect from Insignia but a little muted from the other experiences I've had with this wine. Decanted 6 hours.
"Fairwell Summer, Welcome Autumn" Wine Cellar & Al Fresco Dinner Party (La Jolla, California): A blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, this opaque crimson wine epitomizes the seduction of Napa Valley fruit. Refined and expressive, it struts aromas and flavors of kirsch, cassis, fig, fennel and espresso. It is full-bodied and fresh, with well-integrated alcohol (14.5%) and generous fine-grained tannins. Bringing new meaning to the term "layered," it builds throughout the middle and ends with a very long, smooth finish. Absolutely gorgeous is this wine! While it is a treat to drink at this point, I suspect that it may get even better with some further time in the bottle. Drink now-2028.
Dinner with Fellow Counsel (New Ubin Seafood): 88% CS, 4% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot. Very good indeed, this was the pick of the lot, especially when paired with a nicely grilled Angus beef-rib. It had a really attactive nose, still influenced by sweet oak and vanilla tones, but what really stood out were ripe, sunny aromas of cassis and blackberries and plums seasoned with pinches of eucalyptus and wood spice, and nice wafting scents of dried flowers and roasted capsicums. I liked that. The palate was obviously still far too young to be fully appreciated, but even then, I found it to be surprisingly approachable, with ripe, slightly powdery tannins and well-integrated acidity forming a solid frame for lovely, deep flavours of cassis and blackberries sprinkled with more of that nice spiciness. Still primary, a bit monolithic, and the structrue gave the wine a good chewiness, but it had such superb balance and was so well-integrated that it was a real pleasure to drink even now. While certainly big, you would never have thought it hit the 14.5% marked on the bottle. The finish was especially impressive - long, powerful, yet effortless, with a lovely drift of peppery spice nestled amidst dark-fruited notes. Great stuff - this should be a joy to drink in 5-6 years and has the legs to go on far beyond that. A lovely Napa cab. 93+
Had this at a wine tasting with a number of high end wines and I thought this was a major disappointment. I don't understand the reviews claiming how deep/complex this wine. I've had much deeper/complex wines lately that are drinking much better at half the price. In addition, the finish is still tight - not much of a change from my last tasting. Decanted for three hours and drank over another three according to the gentleman that brought it.
Drank at Goodman's Dark thick and rich with masses of dark fruit, vanilla and chocolate. It was so silky smooth in the palate. It has lots of tannins but they are integrating well. This is really lovely stuff. Go out and get some.
Needed several hours of decanting to open. Still dark black in color. Nice nose but not very aromatic. Dark rich flavors throughout, very fruity in the middle with a long very tannic finish. Seems to have great potential to age.
Wanted to love it but just didnt have the body. Once it opened had good taste and ripe fruit flavor. For a $170 a bottle , you can buy 10 bottles from Ribera de Duero. Another over priced napa wine....
I am not very experienced with this type/style of wine, far more complex that the Cali pinot I drink regulalry. There is a TON going on here. Also, this was consumed very shortly after a UPS trip across country and with only a 45 minute decant. As I said, there is a lot going on here. I liked it but did not love it but feel that after I give my other 2 bottles a couple more years in the cellar and drink at home after a proper decant, it will show much, much better.
Powerful aromas of licorice, blackberry, jam, earth, smoke, espresso and black cherry liqueur are in full force. The wine is deep, concentrated and rich, packed with extremely ripe fruit, everything is in balance. There is no sensation of heat or over ripe flavors, this is a beautiful example of everything great about California Cabernet Sauvignon.
Backus vs. Insignia (Atheneum Intercontinental Hotel, Athens, Greece.): Wine of the tasting to most. Very dark, opaq. Combines ripeness and freshness of fruit in a unique manner. Dark plums, licorice, charcoal, violets and ink on the nose. Full-bodied and dense with balancing acidity and textbook tannins. Very long aftertaste. A masterpiece that will fully unwind its complexity in 5 years or so.
(Deals/Genka Gastronomy Fair, J. Phelps Backus & Insignia mini vertical, Intercontinental Hotel) This is a blend of 88% CS, 4% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot. Inox fermenting tanks, 22 months in oak, total production 162.000 btl. Fresh (as expected) nose, fruits and flowers as well, plums, raspberries, black cherries, violet, toasted hints, chocolate and hints of ink. In the palate the wine is quite round for its youth, almost sweetish, balancing acidity, a world of fruits in there, rich body and thick, chocolate again, medium to long aftertaste of chocolate, dired plum and tobacco. I think this was probably the wine of the event for the most.
Huge hit by everyone last night. Great balance and silkiness to the red cherry fruit. A touch of vanilla added complexity without adding sweetness. Silky tannins and a great finish. The magnum was gone before I blinked.
Had it 3 times now, and nearly perfect every time. A real star from the standout 07' Napa wines. Liked it better than Opus, Marthas, Continuum, Dominus (although very close call with the excellent 07' Dominus), etc. of the same year. Hang on to these!
This wine has evoved a bit since last bottle (6 months). It is showing more black fruit and a hint of eucalyptus. This is a baby that is beginning to mature but is begging to be left alone. Listen to it, leave it alone for at least 2-3 more years. I like the CA wines at around 6 or so years - leave the Insignia for around 9 or 10 and they won't let you down.
Don't know how to rate this right now. I'm on the side of those that think this needs more time. Big, dark, massive stuff, but honestly not that much fun to drink because it seemed so big. This will undoubtedly get better with age, but to what level is unclear to an amateur like me.
Opaque dark purple. Nose of blackberry, graphite, plum, mint, and cedar. Ripe full nose of blackberry, blueberry, plum, graphite, and espresso. Amazing length. Focused acidity. Sweet tannins. Integrated oak. Wonderful balance. Lovely, lovely wine. Still very young and primary. Great future ahead for this wine.
Big, dark wine. Nose with dark blue and black fruits along with mocha and some mineral. Full bodied palate with moderate complexity. Tannins not intrusive. This could age for a good 10 more years but you can definitely drink now. Probably at its peak in 2 more years.
Very different experience to the first bottle which I had last year, but overall rating is consistent.
Black as night purple.
Huge amounts of blue fruit on the nose, very fresh ripe tannins.
Palate consistent, with cool blueberry and warm umami. The oak is more noticeable tonight than it was last year, but not far enough out of line to be a problem, and the balance was restored after an hour of air.
This is a fantastically drinkable wine already, even though it needs a few more years.
Drank Christmas night beside the Insignia 06. Of the two, the 07 was clearly superior, with minty aromatics and a silky palate of chocolate and cassis. Still youthful, this wine could use more cellar time, as I found the tannins more and more trying as the night went on. But very enjoyable now. Will be much better later, however.
As mentioned before... Stop... Do not drink now... I decanted for over 6 hours and this wine did not open up.... I'm sorry to say that this needs many years in cellar.... I think it will be outstanding when the time comes!!
STOP! Do not Drink. Wait LOTS of years. It's not bad but it's not ready! Opened with a 1997 Insignia. Left in bottle for 3-4 hours before drinking. The 1997 was a quiet, mature, reflective old soul. The 2007 was a first time ever drinking Patron teenager. Loud and obnoxious. No class. chest beating fool. It will mature. We all do.
Subdued and more reserved than the 08 Insignia. I would venture to say a little on the closed side not revealing much fruit but oak was present and the wine was brooding. Wanted to do more but couldn't. Scorched earth. Decanted 7 hours.
Had this wine alongside '02, '05, '06 and '08 Insignias. After 6 hours in the decanter. This was the 2nd best Insignia of the night behind the '02. The profiles on all the wines were very consistent. Notes of blackberry, cassis and some spice. Rich fruit in the mouth, consistent with the nose. This was suprisingly open and accessible, more so than the '05 and '06. This will get better and should develop some more complexity with time.
Popped and poured. Expectations were high and this didn't disappoint. Great legs, nose, color and finish. Opended quickly and really delivered. Do think it still needs a bit of time. The rest of my inventory will rest for a while.
Gushing, massive waves of crushed blueberry fruit is almost too much, but ravishing if you're in the right mood. The fruit and oak overwhelm whatever tannin there might be. Almost sweet. Probably good splashed over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Nose immediately hits with buttered popcorn, some floral notes and sweet black fruit. Midpalate is super silky and medium weight. Finish was really complex with layers and subtle nuances of flavors. Very complex and very enjoyable.
Looking back, I do prefer the 2008 over the 2007.
-- Consumed at at cellar temp: 60°-65° F. Friends don't let friends drink red wine at room temp!
About a 30 minute decant. Inky dark in the glass. Rambunctious fruit on the nose with oak, hints of earth, vanilla. The palate is gorgeous. Dark fruit predominates with additional layers of oak, pencil lead, hints of spice, anise, blueberry. Tannins are structured for cellaring, but soft enough to enjoy without a high pucker factor. Long finish that diminishes just as the palate is begging for another sip.
Decanted for a half hour then drank over the next 4 hours. Initially a slight coppery edge to the nose, but also great fruit and Christmas spices. Monstrous tannins that smoothed with time and air. Very complex, a lot going on and it needs more time.
Sampled 2/3/12. Huge fruit forward wine. Almost jammy black fruits with a little tobacco after mid palate. Still too young for all the flavors to emerge fully but it is a wine that will likely be something quite special over the next dozen years
This Insignia emphasizes power over elegance, not a bad thing, since the fruit is big enough to overcome big oak treatment. A massive wine. but by no means heavy. Complexity not here yet, but on the way (2-3 years). The perfume emerges after a few hours of air, and it is exotic, sexy, like Chanel 5. This tastes more like a Lewis Reserve than anything French. For my money, I prefer the 2006, which is now opening up, and has the dryness and freshness of Pauillac and St. Julien. But that means that the 2006 approaches perfection, and this falls just short.
Nice fruit. Smooth. However, not as complex as older vintages that I've had. Decanted for 2 hours and drank over 3. Improved with time, however, finish was still a little tight. Still too young so potential to really improve with time.
Deep ruby core, pink rim. Blueberry crumble and violets on the nose. Medium bodied, with a long graphite finish. Strong tannins. Pretty good, but clearly has a long way to go. I would like to try it in 10 years.
Blind Cabs (32 East Delray Beach): Tasted Blind (Red Bag #5): The wine was black as night. Gorgeous wine and nose. Proper structure, tannins and backbone. Very well made. Some guessed Insignia and they were right. This wine is full of balckberry, balck cherry and plum. It is built to last. Finished a buit on the tannic side.
Black with inky, purple tints in color, oak, smoke, vanilla, jammy blackberry, blueberry and black licorice scents are found in abundance. Stylish, powerful, supple and mouth coating, this rich, dense wine was produced from a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. Based on now well older vintages of Insignia are showing, this should age for at least 2-3 decades.
Second bottle. Good nose, still very tannic. Surprisingly light on the palate. Delicate mouthfeel for an Insignia (and any '07 Napa cab). Needs air to enjoy now, should have more time - try again late 2012 or 2013.
Meant to open a 2006 but accidentally opened this instead. A classic Insignia with full-throated deep, dark fruit. Fruit quality, balance, and pacing was incredible, symbolic of the vintage's strength. Like many 2007s this didn't seem as tannic as I expected, but should have no problems aging.
Absolutely stunning and the finest Cal Cab I have had in memory. The reason is its astounding complexity of multi black and blue berry, fig and current flavors and multilevel texture. Remarkable depth. There's a bit of dryness on the finish which may be from the wood tannins, but I hope that will be absorbed in the next year or two. Definitely not a fruit bomb or oak monster. This is the Pichon-Lalande of California.
Disappointing. Closed, even the next day. Dry tannins dominated with little sign of the beautiful rich fruit, oak, vanilla flavors one expects from this wine. In my opinion the 2001 is only beginning to open up after premature release claims, maybe the 2007 will be the same.
91-92 points: from the Friday Night Cellar Circuit. This wine is way too young to enjoy. Because we were tasting multiple vintages of Insignia, we called Phelps and ask for their recommendations for preparing the wines. They said 3 hours to decant the 2007. At 5 hours the wine was still incredibly tight and dense, although delicious. You can certainly see where this wine is heading. Everything is there, it just needs another 3-5 years to integrate and wear off the rough edges. If this is your cup of tea, fair play to you, I'll "settle" for the 2002, or what followed.
A 2-day old sample from a tasting, saved in the fridge. Not showing any hints of oxidation after 2days. Incredibly dark ruby in the glass. Nose of cassis, currants, boysenberry, espresso, toffee and vanilla. Lush concentrated fruity palate, with a delayed attack and a crescendo of fruit that peaks more on the finish than the palate. Fine soft tannins that were not intrusive at all, though a touch drying on the finish and became more prominent with air. Impressive poise, balance, and accessibility for a young wine. Hangs on the palate for almost a minute, with deep dark fruit flavors, coffee, touch of vanilla. Impressive pure fruit. Great Napa cab. Wish all high end cabs were like this--balanced, "restrained" and complex.
All American Tasting (Binny's on Grand): Yes. This is Insignia. Feminine styling again. Supple but powerful medium dark red berries, pomegranate, cherries and even some blood orange. Similar tasting notes to previous samples. Really exquisite precision and elegance. Screams quality Napa Cabernet. So many layers of spice, earth and secondary aromas. This wine will age perfectly for thirty years, but i'm enjoying it today with a solid decant.
Opened for 10 hours but not decanted- half of a 375 ml bottle. Dark and inky color, very dense. A little closed on the nose, but aromas of black cherry, anise, tobacco, and leather were present. Bold intensity on the palate with still very tightly layered flavors and a rich luxurious mouthfeel. Black fruit, red fruit, herbs, leather, cedar, mineral, tobacco, et al flavors are all there- densely layered and still very tightly wound. Impressive balance and oak integration. Massive structure and gripping fine tannins, finishing long with waves of fruit. Infancy stage, but still very beautiful.
The nose is really dominated by vanillin and smokey oak, some mocha and fig as well but not much else. This is a huge, low acid wine that was obviously subjected to torturous modern winemaking tricks. Very one dimensional and somewhat closed right now. This isn't showing much, but the lack of acidity and very resolved tannins makes me wonder if this will ever blossom or just become flabby and uninteresting over time. This was tasted against Palmer 05' and it was beat handily. I agree with the previous taster about mistaking this for possibly a $30 cab.
Dominated by every bottle we drank that night, 08 Corra, 07 Continuum, 05 Tom Eddy. The appearance feeds into the disappointment, a beautiful, rich, deep wine with a classic insignia nose. It hits you with.... not much, an under extracted, thin wine with watery tones dominating. I would view this as an off year for Insignia, not one of the decade! Hopefully this was just an off bottle.
Awesome, rich flavors of dark berries, cocoa and a hint of vanilla. Still very tannic - I would wait t least 3-5 years for this beauty to smooth out - although after a 2 hour decant, it softened up. Great vintage, great wine. I'm sure this will be 97+ in a few years.
Immediately fruity and oaky nose, but well done. Sweet fruits create a nice perfume; this is very much in the Phelps house style, and this is an impressive version. Lush and oaky but tasty on the palate. Very appealing, with good concentration, with just enough juiciness to the red-fruitedness here to make it last. Reminds me a lot of the excellent 1994 Insignia. Tasted from 375mL. 94-96
Honestly, kind of a disappointment. Bright cherry nose, but lacking in body and too quick to finish. Not much depth or definition, and definitely out of sync with the price tag. Nowhere near an Opus or Revana level. Bummer.
Nose is violets, and a bit inky. Huge backbone, very solid, even after being open for a day. Lead, dark fruits, and perfect balance. Long long finish. Continues to be my favorite Napa wine of recent memory.
This is one showy wine -- no wonder the wine critics love it. Deep purple/black color. Open, sensuous aromas of blackberry, wet earth, and graphite, then a huge complex attack with proper structure and all kinds of different flavors followed by a tannic,though gently so, long finish. Tasted at the winery after the 2006, which was also a GREAT wine but clearly demure in comparison.
Honestly...quite a bit simpler than I expected. Gobs of fruit with already approachable tannins. Very surprising for something so young. It's a very good wine, but I would've mistaken it for a $30 cab if I had tasted it blind. So if someone wants to sell me a case of this for 30 bucks a bottle, I'm interested. $200 a bottle? I don't think so.
Dense and impenetrable looking. Reticent blackberry. Nothing shy about the palate, though, which is not too sweet but soupy, syrupy, and soft. No definition whatsoever. On the bright side, at least it is not dominated by wood. Close to $200 for this overextracted mess? I don't get it.
Nice, purple color with plums, vanilla and green tea on the nose. Sweet raspberries, blueberries and a full body on the palate. Maybe a little to fruity/jammy for me. Marked down for the finish, which was not particularly long and had a bitter unexpected element to it. I know this is supposed to be a 100 point wine, but I'm not digging it right now.
from a 375 started off muted opened up to a great expression of cherry and vanilla. The vanilla was like from a bottle of madgascar vanilla and bordered towards cedar. I really liked it but cannot say I loved it.
Unreal night. Had some pretty sick uber expensive prime steak and wagyu. Went up against two 2007 heavyweights - Opus One, Lewis Reserve and a 2006 Hall at 1/5 price. Overwhelmed by too much big wine this night to remember the taste and smell. Everything was great. A bit young to drink but tastes really fine, but more on the serious side. WOTN for me. Cost and youth weighs this down. Sorry cost is a factor in my rating.
Why oh why did my boss buy this bottle of wine at the restaurant. Total name whor@. This wine was a beast. Extremely full bodied, coated the mouth with a delightful black raspberry, blueberry coating for about 2 minutes. Which was as long ad I would wait for another sip. Some day this wine is going to be somebody!
California Cab Tasting, USQ Wines; 11/10/2010-11/12/2010 (New York): Has very sweet fruit - very lush and generous on the balanced nose, with a bit of smoke / charcoal. Pleasing and smooth on the palate; quite tannic now but balanced. Not spicy like the Hillside, a little more red-fruited; will be a very good Insignia, perhaps comparable to the level of the 1994. 94-95 pts.
The Ultimate Wine Experience (Binny's South Loop - Chicago, IL): Awesome. Finesse. Deep. Layered. Super awesome fruit. Feminine bottling this vintage. Plush round and opulent. Massive transition from front to mid palate. Mouth coating and viscous. Chocolate, vanilla, oak. Currant, blue fruit. Creamy, rock and minerals. The complete package. A stunning effort in this consistently beautiful bottling. Up there in my obok with the 2002.
This was opened for just over an hour, and about 1/4 of the bottle was gone. Poured into your typical thick rimmed, small tasting glass, this showed a nice dark purple-ish color in the glass. I swirled it around in my glass for a minute or two, and the first thing I noticed were the sweet vanilla tones. This immediately tells me that I could be flossing out some oak splinters, but we'll see! The fruit profile was there, with nice dark fruits, but again, the fruit took second seat to the sweet, creamy vanilla. Black currants and cassis, along with blueberry and blackberry dominate the nose. Some mellow spice, mocha, and oak round out the nose. On the palate, I was prepared to be tasting an over-oaked wine here, and ready to get slapped in the face. But even so, that was not the case. But don't get me wrong, there was plenty of oak here. For once, the palate really seemed to meet the same profile as the nose. Again nice currants and cassis with dark fruits. Secondary tones of plum and blackberry, with some sweetness, vanilla, and spice. Plenty of backbone on the mid-palate, and the finish definitely has some gripping, chewy tannins, and just a bit of alcohol. Long and short of it, this wine has all the potential, but is far to young. No score today, but 92-95 points possible with time on the rack. I'd hold 7-10 years to give the oak time to integrate, but that is just me. This will be fabulous with age!
14.5% ABV. I tasted this twice at a retailer under less than ideal conditions. The first taste had been sitting in a plastic cup on a table for some time and was not showing well. Translucent dark garnet in the glass with a reticent nose. Medium full bodied with closed dark currant and cocoa flavors. Really not that impressive. My second taste came straight out of the bottle and was more like what I expected with plush ripe currant fruit and a high class french oak toastiness. Ripe sweet black currant and black berry fruit on the palate. 93+ for the second taste.
Decanted a half-hour before dinner and drank over 3 hours. Light fruit on the nose (or I may have a bit of a cold - my wife loved the nose). Spice and fruit, but still very tannic. This vintage doesn't seem to have the rich fruit I remember from the '04, which surprised me given the hype and the other '07 cabs I've had. It was too soon to drink this wine, but who can wait? I bought a lot of it and I'm looking forward to drinking it over several years.
Not sure what's going on here. Perhaps it is already shut down? The nose wasn't showing much. In the mouth, the texture was really nice, but there wasn't much fruit to it. The bottle wasn't newly opened, or anything. NR
No detailed notes. Opened late in the opener between the Twins and Yankees. Less overt than the "big boys" (read "big oak) from the vintage. Stylish and reserved in comparison, with a more obvious path to elegant aging than many. 93-95pts on potential, which might be conservative if this wine comes together 5-10 years out.
Early check in on the 2007. I found it to be a nice balance of oak, vanilla, ripe fruits and well managed tannins on the back end without any real noticeable heat. Should age nicely but seems to be put together more for short term enjoyment. Will be a fun wine to follow over the next 4-5 years.
WOTD This was awesome! Still very young and it will need some aging but this is a classic wine. The finish sailed on for a minute with some great red and black fruit flavors. I can see why Parker gave this 97-100 points.
Tasted at an industry Joseph Phelps portfolio event. Loads of dark currents, graphite and dark chocolate on the nose. Had a hint of creaminess about it as well. Not sure if it was because it was so young, but was much too fruit forward. Loads of current and plum, spice box and a nice note of acidity and tannin on the finish. Nice lasting mouthfeel and there was a smooth creaminess that you could tell was lying in wait. Definitely needs a minimum of 5 years before opening. Personally, there was way too much fruit for my taste. Also, would not pay $200+ for this.
Wow this wine is simply amazing, even at this early barrel tasting I was shocked at the depth to the finish and finess of this wine. The fruit and complexity of this wine will make 07 one to own for investment or to drink, hold regardless you will enjoy. I jumped all over the options. My comments are if you have the chance do not miss this one.
Hopefully I am not just suckered by the staff but coming after tasting the pre-release 2006 the barrel sample of the 2007 tastes great. Good backbone but also tons of red fruit flavor. Warm inviting nose and lots of spice on the finish. Also was a better compliment to a piece of steak than the 06. Tasted from barrel sample at Insignia day 2009.