Deep bright ruby. Captivating nose combines blackcurrant, crushed-rock minerality, licorice and violet, complemented by notes of cocoa powder, leather and earth. Densely packed and seriously concentrated, showing an almost chocolatey ripeness that's leavened by integrated acidity. Flavors of dark berries, minerals and flowers saturate the palate and spread out on the very suave, subtly long aftertaste. There's no easy sweetness here but the wine's noble tannins and considerable finesse give it great appeal today. This beautiful blend should go on for many more years on its extract and balance. (ST)
(tasted just off the bottling line; a blend of 71% cabernet sauvignon, 21% cabernet franc, 6% merlot and 1% each petit verdot and malbec) Deep ruby. Roasted aromas of currant, black cherry syrup, licorice and grilled nuts. Powerful but smooth and sweet, with superb, extremely unevolved dark berry flavors and a strong mineral note of graphite. Excellent acidity contributes to the impression of intensity. Very long, mounting finish features firm tannins and lively dark berry flavors. This bottling has been consistently superb in recent years, even in the difficult 1998 vintage. (ST) 93+
The 1999 possesses a healthy deep ruby/purple color along with an open-knit, sweet, candied nose of red and black currants, loamy soil, underbrush and forest floor as well as a touch of oak. This medium-bodied, fresh, lively Insignia exhibits tell-tale acids with much of its tannin already resolved. It is an outstanding Insignia, but not one of the estate's legendary efforts. It should keep for ten more years. (RP)
Complex, with mature herb, dried currant, fresh earth and sage flavors that are focused and concentrated, gaining depth and complexity from midpalate on and then firming up and ending with chewy tannins. (JL, Web Only-2009)
Lustrous crimson. Young and fresh and vital on the nose. Racy and silky with quite a bit of alcohol on the finish but lots of vitality too. Still very youthful and unresolved. 17.5/20 points. (JR)
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