I've found a couple of bottles each of 98 Insignia and Far Niente Cab. Haven't purchased yet because I know 98 was so so. The Insignia is 71 bucks, and the Far Niente is 68. Worth it?

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Without question, the Phelps Insignia is the best choice, and $71 is a good price.

As for Far Niente; I think it is one of the most overpriced mediocre wines in a pretty bottle that I know of! Same applies to their dessert wine, Dolce; pretty bottle and price! (IMO)
I bought 3 Insignia '98's for $60. I rate them a 92. I don't know how high I would go for them. I am finding much better values from abroad right now. Spain and 2001 Cote du Rhones.

EDJ Cool
I concurr with HDW and Latour: the Far Niente has got to be one of the biggest attempts to rip off and/or insult the intelligence of wine-drinkers anywhere!
I agree with just about everything that has been said: Insignia=good ($71 is fair price or better for the '98). Far Niente=bad.

We're all beating a dead horse because far niente and wines like it give california wine industry a black eye. Far Niente makes decent wines but their QPR is among the worst for cali wines. I have yet to be disappointed by a bottle of Insignia, even given its higher release pricing.


p.s. buy the insignia Smile
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The 98 Insignia is the best 98 I have had. The price is not bad, but would be better if you could work a discount.
Nickel and Nickel (who also made the Far Niente) have been producing some single vineyard versions that are supposedly much better than the Far Niente... not sure they are any cheaper, but you might want to check them out instead.

Check out the WS ratings (search on Nickel and Nickel). They also had a fairly good write-up on the website a couple of months ago.
My friend's new boyfriend brought this over last night. Served with grilled rib-eye steaks, eggplant and goat cheese salad and grilled asparagus wrapped in proscuito. Also opened a 99 Chat St Michelle Cold Creek (paid approx $25 for this) Cab. Everyone enjoyed the Cold Creek much more than the 98 Far Niente. It opened up nicely but still seemed to be a very average Napa Valley Cab for the assumed price. Not sure what he paid for it but I'm sure it was much more than the Cold Creek Cab.
EDJ has it right. 2001 Spain for a similar flavor profile. Twice the wine for less money. Clos Mogador $80. Parker-98 & WS-95. Why would you want a 85 or 91 point wine for the same price?
FWIW, 98 Insignia has been on sale for as low as $49 here in Chicago. That might not help you much now, but it means the better prices may be available.

Yes, but I came here for an argument.

Oh! Oh! I'm sorry, this is abuse.

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