On the eyes: Gorgeous ruby color with just a bit of cloudiness (the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered). As California pinot noir ages, the color just gets more and more beautiful. I could gaze into this wine for a long time, it’s just that pretty.
On the palate: The tannins are split 50/50 between silk and fine-ground coffee, and the combination is beautiful. Raspberry and wild cherry fruit dominate, along with a hint of milk chocolate. Flavors of pipe tobacco and cedar add a good cigar shop aspect to the wine. The acid provides refreshment and balance. Sappy red fruit and beef broth tones linger on the finish.
I can’t believe how well this pinot has held up, and perhaps it still got a few years ahead of it. But it’s showing perfectly right now and I don't see any reason to hold onto this wine any longer.
Now, here's the real kicker: I bought this wine at auction for $10! All those hours poring over auction lists paid off. Happy birthday to me! I hope in 14 more years I'm still as youthful as this wine.