1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia....Story and TN

Two weeks ago, my wife was in the basement rummaging through and unpacking boxes from our move about 15 years prior. I should note we live outside of DC and our basement is air conditioned but is certainly not temp controlled. She yelled up and said “look what I found”. To my surprise she held a bottle of 1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia. Somehow, it had never made it to the cellar and was condemned to a moving box, by itself, with other household items. While no signs of leakage, my confidence level was low given storage conditions. Last weekend we popped it open, quick decant, and WOW! It was perfect. About as close to 100pts as I have ever tasted. Many lessons here…but also lots of luck. Every now and then life throws you some great surprises!


Great story. Love me some of those old bottles of Insignia!

Glad it turned out so well! I had an 01 2 years ago. Was the best Insignia I ever had.

What luck!! That 97’ was the WOTN in a 97’ Napa cab retrospective tasting I did. It was truly spectacular and I haven’t had another Napa cab strike me like that one did.

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Not the least bit surprised, John. Wine is more forgiving than most people give it credit for.


I opened a 97 a few years and it was wonderful. I still have a magnum and a 750 left


you are in for a treat!

My daughter got married a few weeks ago, and I raided my cellar and brought some nice bottles to the reception for my wine friends and I to drink. One of the bottles was a 2001 Insignia…it was spectacular. Many of my friends thought it was the best bottle of the night, but I thought the 2010 Spottswoode I opened was just a tad better…


1997 Insignia is delicious, glad yours showed well and what a lovely surprise!


Soooooo…, your daughter got married, and you are tasting/ranking wines…

You sir, are a true Berserker!!!


I would put the vertical of 94-97 Insignia up against any 4 year vertical of Napa cab I have had.I believe the 95 is the standout of the bunch.I too have a decent supply left.

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I too love the '01 and it such a contrast to the '02 which was made in a much more modern style.

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