Kinda a shocker. Bought it as a cheap experiment expecting drain-food–a completely wasted, overt-grassy, maderized typical cheap Pinot with over a decade in the bottle. Totally wrong. Perfect crystal clear thin garnet–as it should be. Polished, subtle fruit nose with braised meat overtones. A bit of spice and definitely aged pinot notes. Perfectly unflawed nose and balance for a Sonoma Coast bottle with almost 13 years on it. Acid and pie-crust shining nicely in the nose but drop off considerably in the entry. Wonderful dark cherry fruit still alive and well all through the mouth and drying tannin of just the mildest, polished sort finishing things up. The barnyard one expects from Pinot is all there too. I have had Pinot’s twice the price-point and half the age taste one-third as well as this one. Really quite surprising. This is not a 12yo Burgundy nor is it a 12yo fat, ripe SYV, SRH, SMV, or RRV. More like a big-name Carneros–think: BV Carneros Reserve or Mondavi Napa PN. Really impressed. I might buy a few more of these just to open as a ‘control sample’ of *how things can be* when you let a fairly simple, perfectly balanced, and varietally-correct bottle sit for a decade. All the wonderful Pinot things are there. HALF of the 50$ pinots I have reviewed in the past year will never taste like this at this age. A tribute to well-made, solid, California PN with no flaws going into bottle and not showing up a decade later. This is what happens when you use classic methods and make a bullet-proof 87-point wine and do not try for the uber-92-pt wine. You get classic, perfect stuff. Take a memo, winemakers. Not mind-boggling, but nothing bad either. Solid, above average wine–with the extra point going for one from 2001.
2001 RUTZ CELLARS Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 13.8
No web site.