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CLONYC #2 - The Insignia Vertical Tasting

First of all I want to thank everyone for being part of this amazing tasting. As Cheryl mentioned, the company was great. The converstaion and bantor was fun. I even tried to vote twice for the '96, but the group would not have it. I only wish it were a big round table. I like being within earshot of everyone. The long tables are tough. My complaining ends there! I want to thank Holt for giving us the oppurtunity to have a complete vertical, even with his being unable to make it. He offered up at cost his '97 and '98.

A great group you all are! Primarily it's the people who make the night. Then the wine and food.

Speaking of which. The food was great. Zoe did an impeccable job on service and presentaion. I did micro-manage a bit (a real tiny bit), and they handled it well.

And now the wines. A wonderful slice of this great prop. blend follows.

'91 Opened with old Cab qualities, dried fruit, sulphur? An decent wine and interesting to have it in the line-up and for the coming comparisons as we moved to the youngers wines. 87/100

'92 A little funky on the nose. On the palate there was an earthy-minerality that reminded me of an old Graves. There were traces red fruit. bit more tannins than the '91. 86/100

'93 This was my wine of the flight. It had good fruit, nice acid and smooth tannins. My only complaint was that it was a bit 'short'. Still no slouch! 90/100

'94 This one had some anteseptic qualities and maybe a touch of brett. I think it may be have ben flawed. not rated

'95 Full round mouthfeel. Great fruit with medium weight tannins Currant, cassis, and multi dimensional. I enjoyed this wine. 90/100

'96 To me this was the 'breakout' Insignia. New world Cab (Cab blend) style. Great balance. Beautiful dark fruit. Acid and tannins meshed to create an amazing long finish. Back the truck up. WOTF 92/100

'97 Great body, with a super mouthfeel. Nice dark fruit evident. I liked the length of this one. Still from all I have recently read about this wine I feel it did not show full potential. 91/100

'98 An interesting wine unto itself. One dimensional with nice med dark fruit. The thing about this wine was many felt as I did that served on its own would be a very nice wine, but we are known by the company we keep and there was some stiff competition in the room wine. 5 grape blend ( I believe). Possibly The best '98 I have ever had. 89/100

'99 Now we are talking. Great nose of truffles. An amazing fullness on the palate. Showed its breed. Good dark fruit. Nice balance. My wine of the flight. Glad I have some in my cellar. 92.5/100

'00 Another wine that reminded me of the '98. Great nose, good minerality, great red fruit/cherry. Very nice for the vintage. 89/100

'01 Fantastic. Smooth. Dark fruit, currant, mocha, dark cherry. I love this wine. Did I say fantastic? Easily my WOTF and WOTN. 94/100

'02 Oh, the ohtwo....... yes the ohtwo. This one was a bit closed. But understandable. It has the makings for a long lived wine. Great tannin/acid/fruit meshing happening here. Smooth full mouthfeell. I guess everyone wants to see what the fuss is here. WS Wine of the year and all. Makes me wonder. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful wine, but NOT wine of the year. 91/100

Jim hit the nail on the head here "It was interesting to see Insignia change from a more Bordeaux styled wine from 1991 to 1995, then to a Bordeaux Cali blend and then in 2002 to a more riper style"

My note taking leaves something to be desired. More like a summation.

Thank you again Cheryl, Nano, Ben, Jeff, Cindy, Jeff, Gary, Kevin, Dan, Jim, and Greg.