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the '93 was pretty darn good when we did a vertical of 22 vintages of Insignia last year here in the Seattle area. I also enjoyed the '84 and '87 alot.

Benchmark is one of the best kept secrets in CA retailer circles. I am glad more people don't know of them as there prices are great and selection fantastic. Service is as good as any of the big names!
It depends on your tastes. The '96 is beginning to evolve more toward a European style and is more terroir oriented than the others which are more fruit forward. I am concerned that the '97 seems to be losing some of its vibrancy and wonder how late a wine can enter a "dumb" phase. The '99 and '01 are great. I just acquired 6 of the '02s but have not tasted them. Curiously you omitted the "98 as a choice. Frankly, I snubbed this wine for a while too until its reduced price made me bite, and while the '98 may not be the best Insignia of the group, it is still a very good wine and at the reduced prices a decent qpr.

Ok Ricky, here are some brief TN's of the event. Hope it helps:

While the '94 is very drinkable now, it may be past its prime. Still, it is an elegant tasting wine. (MA-93)

The '95 has held up well, and is still muscular, showing wild berry, plum, and black cherry. FWIW most people seemed to prefer the '95 to the '94. (MA-94)

The '96 was a polished wine showing black cherry, currant, sage and spices. It reminded me of a '96 Kenwood Artist series (Sonoma) I'd opened a week before. (MA-92)

The '97 tasted like a "classic" '97 from Napa: muscular, dense, and very fruit foward with black cherry, plum, and a hint of chocolate and herbs on the finish. (MA-95)

The '98 was drinking suprisingly well with layers of dark fruits. Not muscular, but a very nice blend for the vintage. (MA-91)

The '99 showed black cherry, minerals, sage and was quite muscular tannin wise. (MA-93)

The '00 showed tiers of black berry, black cherry, and mocha. Very nice on the finish. (MA-92)

The '01 was a deep rich wine showing dark fruits, mocha, and hazel nut/coffee. (MA-91)

The '02 may have tied (with the '97) for the wine of the night for me. Total fruit bomb the will age nicely. Dense black berry, plum, currant, vanilla and cedar. (MA-95)
Ricky, you may want to wait for this one!

The '03 barrel sample was unique. Although very good, the fruit seemed to be covered in oak. I finally was able to taste a barrel sample!

I should mention that it was a pleasure to meet Tom Shelton, president and CEO of Phelps Vineyards. A very passionate and knowledgable guy who I'll be seeing soon in Napa; I won the door prize! Big Grin

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