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1999 Joseph Phelps Insignia
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Opened this on Saturday. I still love this wine. Thick black cherry, sweet entry, full body, wonderful aromas of cherry, and blackberry. finish is sweet and tannic, but I love the tannins in this. The finish could be bigger, it could have more complexity to it, but I just love this wine. Ordered 6 more at $87.00. 93 pts. imho. I am very glad this is still available and everyone is not chasing it. smile

It used to be beer, the old lady, & TV. Now it's wine, American Express, & this stupid forum!
 
Posts: 450 | Location: Oregon | Registered: Jun 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i am savoring the last glass of this as i write these comments. this is a delicious example of a california cabernet (yes, i know it's a blend, but at 71% cab, it's a cab in my book). i know it's a very young wine as well, but it is drinking beautifully right now, as someone mentioned in another thread somewhere the other day. whoever said it was right. i had this decanted about an hour & a half before i got home from work this evening & shared the bottle with my brother & my wife. i bought this at costco for @ $86 yesterday. it has a beautiful black cherry & chocolate nose, wonderful long legs & flavors of black cherries, vanilla & cassis with just a hint of milk chocolate on the long lingering finish. unlike the '97 brunello i drank last night, there are no mouth puckering tannins. in fairness, though, i didn't taste this until it had had significant air time. 96 points & i guess it could get better, i supose i'll make another trip to costco soon & smuggle some more into the house somehow. wink

gus@garlic.com

"caught in the jaws of life"
 
Posts: 409 | Location: san jose, ca (texas expatriate) | Registered: Feb 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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gfleener,


Your notes are right on! Much better than mine, but also very acurate. I could never get enough of this wine. About 4 months ago I opened a 95 Insignia and the 99 and we tasted them blind. The 99 was most everyone's favorite! You are also right about it tasting well right now. I sure hope it does not go into a dumb stage.

vista

It used to be beer, the old lady, & TV. Now it's wine, American Express, & this stupid forum!
 
Posts: 450 | Location: Oregon | Registered: Jun 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The more I keep reading these reviews of the 99 P.I., the more likely I am to open one with the in-laws for Christmas tomorrow. I am salivating here. Well, I better go. I have Betty Ford on my other line. razz

Stood up and tried to focus<br />I hoped I wouldn't have to look far<br />I knew I could use a bloody mary<br />so I stumbled next door to the bar
 
Posts: 220 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: Dec 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My experence with Insigina has always been that the wine can be drinking beautifully upon release. The 99 is no exception. This wine is very good but a notch under the 97, 95 and 94. I admitt that it's a small notch. The 97 is still my favorite.
 
Posts: 1136 | Location: The OC | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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sorry....flashback.

open it & enjoy! big grin

gus@garlic.com

"caught in the jaws of life"
 
Posts: 409 | Location: san jose, ca (texas expatriate) | Registered: Feb 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Has Insignia ever disappointed anyone? Not only have I never had a bad vintage, I have never experienced a bad bottle. These days, at $85, it is a bargain.

Although I love Araujo, especially the Syrah, can you imagine what Phelps could do with the Eisele vineyard these days?

Steve

Bay Area Wine Project
www.bawineproject.com
 
Posts: 263 | Location: San Francisco, California | Registered: Aug 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lakersguy,

Since you seem to be the Insigniaguy, I have a question. I have older Insignia's I plan to drink a few times a year. I kind of feel like the 99 will not be that great say 4 years from now because of a dumb phase or loosing fruit. I do not think it is going to be as great as it is now in say 5 years. My question is do you think it would be wise to drink them say over the next 2 or 3 years and just enjoy them for what they are?
Or would you disagree with me and say that they will be better in time?

Thanks in advance,

Vista

It used to be beer, the old lady, & TV. Now it's wine, American Express, & this stupid forum!
 
Posts: 450 | Location: Oregon | Registered: Jun 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The 99 Insignia and for that matter, all of the Insignia’s in the 90’s are built to drink upon release and improve with bottle age. I'll refer you to this site on the Phelps website.

http://www.jpvwines.com/general_news_spring2002.html

The 99 California Vintage in general will benefit from 5-10 years of bottle age and many of the top producers will benefit from 10-20 years in the bottle with proper storage. The 99 Insignia seems to me to be about a 10-year wine. The best part about Insignia is that you can drink them now and drink some over the years to determine how the wine has evolved.

My experience with Insignia is that they can go into a shutdown phase, the 94 did and has come around beautifully and drinking almost as good as its going to get. The 95 did and I found it to be a rather long time, 2 years. It is just now coming around. These wines still need at least two hours of decanting before drinking, I prefer 4 hours.

Depending on the number of bottles you have, I’d drink the wine at least one bottle per year to see where it is. You’ll probably never be disappointed.

Not only are these GREAT wines but because you can almost always find some makes it clearly one of the top three wines produced in California every year.
 
Posts: 1136 | Location: The OC | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is my first complete bottle of this wine I have opened and tasted. I’ve tasted this wine upon release and felt that it had good acidity and intensity and big tannins that told me this wine would need 5 years before we knew if it would be a great Insignia.

Last night opened bottle 1 hour before tasting without decanting. The 99 Insignia is definitely built to age and quite uninvolved. Not nearly as drinkable now as the 94,95 and 97 was 9 months after release.

Deep ruby in color. The wine didn’t every really show much on the nose but a little bit of cassis, dark chocolate. Loads of sweet fruit and great intensity without any impression of weight. Not nearly as seamless as the 97. Finishes with substantial chewy, big tannins.

This wine is not one of my favorite Insignia’s. I like the 94,95,96 and 97 better but, the 99 might outlast all of them and in 10 years be a really decent wine.

Tasting this wine last night reminded me how incredible the 97 Insignia really is.
 
Posts: 1136 | Location: The OC | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I *LOVED* the '99 when I tasted it at the vineyard. My only problem is that $125 at their place is a bit too much to spend. I've seen it for $86 online, but never in my local Costco. Frown

If I saw it there, I'd grab it!

RRV
 
Posts: 813 | Location: Carmel, IN | Registered: Aug 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lakers Guy-

Quality in an available bottle. A true Cal. 1st Growth Insignia is.

You echoed my sentiments perfectly. '99 is excellent, more brooding and less fruit forward and not quite as good as '94,'95,'97.

DrT Cool
 
Posts: 2764 | Location: Virginia Beach,VA | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A friend poured this last night. A very nice wine that needs time. I think the 1997 was much more approachable at this age whereas the 1999 I think will need a couple more years to reach the same level of suppleness. It's a 92 now but has the complexity hiding in the background to bring it to a 95 aging.
 
Posts: 1566 | Registered: Nov 24, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Time has not changed this wine at all so far. I would buy the 01 Insignia before I purchased any of the 99. The 99 still needs five years before you open another.
 
Posts: 1136 | Location: The OC | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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had on vacation out on cape cod in Orleans. Small wine list but had this for $160 and the Caymus 2003 for $80. thought both were pretty good restaurant prices.

Decanted and aired for about 45 minutes to start, and then drank over an hour. Great color, right to the edge, with a nose of dark chocolate and dark fruits. First taste was great, ripe fruit with a hint of tannins, but his bottle was very well integrated. Smooth mid-palate and good long finish with 'chewy' tannins being the best descriptor. I would agree that this is not a 97 but this bottle was showing awfully well and was a nice part of a vacation week on the cape. I would rate this 92-93 points.

Dale

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Dale451,


Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. - Benjamin Franklin

 
Posts: 867 | Location: Bloomfield Hills, MI | Registered: Apr 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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1999 Joseph Phelps Insignia - USA, California, Napa Valley (6/9/2009)

2nd time I have had this wine. This was opened by Otis as part of our 1999 Cal Cab retrospective dinner. This was the top wine in my opinion. When I first had this in 2003, it was tannic and unforgiving. It has opened up very nicely since then. Dark black red color without any bricking. The fruit was still concentrated but more pleasurable. Notes of black cherry, plum and light oak. Round finish. 93 points.

VM
 
Posts: 12285 | Location: Chicago | Registered: Oct 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Vino Me:
1999 Joseph Phelps Insignia - USA, California, Napa Valley (6/9/2009)

2nd time I have had this wine. This was opened by Otis as part of our 1999 Cal Cab retrospective dinner. This was the top wine in my opinion. When I first had this in 2003, it was tannic and unforgiving. It has opened up very nicely since then. Dark black red color without any bricking. The fruit was still concentrated but more pleasurable. Notes of black cherry, plum and light oak. Round finish. 93 points.

VM


VM, do you know if this was decanted, or just a pop-n-pour?

TIA


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I'm throwin' rocks tonight. Mark it, Dude.
 
Posts: 3010 | Location: San Luis Obispo, CA | Registered: Mar 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It was in the bottle with the cork pulled when we arrived at Otis' house. He will have to answer that.

VM
 
Posts: 12285 | Location: Chicago | Registered: Oct 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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drink now or can you still hold this for a few more?
 
Posts: 886 | Location: Los Angeles, CA | Registered: Oct 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No signs of fading.

VM
 
Posts: 12285 | Location: Chicago | Registered: Oct 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think it'll be better in 5 years than it is now.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36831 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
I think it'll be better in 5 years than it is now.

Agree. The 99 is coming around.
 
Posts: 1136 | Location: The OC | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The 1990 and 1992 are prime now.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36831 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Steven Rigisich:
Has Insignia ever disappointed anyone? Not only have I never had a bad vintage, I have never experienced a bad bottle. These days, at $85, it is a bargain.


Agree 100%. Heck, even their 1998 was wonderful.


-----------------------
Randy Sloan, Owner / Vintner / Filler of Fax Paper
Match Vineyards
http://www.MatchVineyards.com
 
Posts: 1691 | Location: Napa Valley and East Bay | Registered: Oct 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I did not decant. Popped it and tasted. Huge nose and velvety texture. Tons of dark fruit and noticable oak at first. Decided it did not need decanting, just uncorked for an hour.

This is a muscular, well-proportioned Insignia. Not flamboyant, but deep and resolute. The strong silent type. It reminds of the '91 (one of my favorites) at a similar age and should get better with additional cellaring.

If you own multiple bottles, worth benchmarking now. I'd say VM's 93P rating is spot on at the moment. Could see it reaching 95-96P at its peak.

Cheers,

Otis
 
Posts: 3418 | Location: Chicago | Registered: Apr 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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