Saturday, December 02, 2006

1999 Joseph Phelps Insignia

It is nice to have good friends, and it is even nicer to have good friends who make surprise visits with very nice wines! So it was a late Saturday evening when a (SUPER TERRIFIC EXTRA SPECTACULAR) friend decided to drop by and share a bottle of the legendary Joseph Phelps Insignia.

The 1999 Joseph Phelps Insignia is one of Napa's most famous wines, and comes with a 'famous' price tag. I rarely get an opportunity to taste a wine of such pedigree, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity. Despite a few years under its belt, the 1999 still had an attractive deep purple colour. Tannic on the nose, with nice minty/vanilla scents, followed by leather, spice, oak, butter? , and some green pepper. The wine went through a major transformation in the decanter, later delivering scents of chocolate and coffee. Well balanced, rich, and voluptious, the nose was deceiving - I thought the tannins would be more powerful, but they have softened up to deliver a very drinkable wine.

Overall a terrific wine, although I expected more persistency and a longer finish after that wonderful nose. Perhaps difficult to pair with a meal, this is a special wine for drinking now - late at night with a cheese platter?
14% alcohol
Score: 17.5 to 18/20
Cost: I can't afford it

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