13.5% alcohol. A fully saturated cork made me a bit nervous opening this wine. No worries. A glorious bottle, superbly fresh, and a great example of this benchmark wine from the greatest of California Pinot Noir vineyards. The sixth time I've had Pentagon, and it might be the second best. Bright red cherry color. No signs of age. Initially slightly tight on the nose, but then it started to unfold, with its relentless, endearing, and glorious red cherry fruit, backed up by refined spice, earth, floral, mushroom, and tea notes. The level of complexity coming into this wine as it reaches adolescence is superb. In the mouth, a laser beam that explodes with the most achingly pure expression of red cherry I've found in New World Pinot. Each time you stick your nose into the glass to take a sip, you're overcome by the beauty of the bouquet. Then the pure fruit, with its supporting cast of impressive and tireless complex notes, delivers something even greater on the palate. A great wine, with great individual components, that still achieves greater heights than the sum of its outstanding parts. The acidity is vivacious. The finish is improbably long and detailed. This is truly bottled poetry. The ultimate height in Pinot Noir. A wine I feel very humbled to have drunk even once. In a word, amazing. A+
13.5% alcohol. Bottle I got on WineCommune. It was in excellent condition. Cork was saturated but in good shape. The wine was a beautiful red color, pure cherry with not a hint of age to it. The nose, slightly volatile at first, became enormously expressive. There are a lot more secondary characteristics here now -- flowers and mushrooms to go with the black cherry fruit, minerals, and earth. Still beautiful in the mouth, with loads of fruit that is still racy and lively. Excellent complexity backing up everything. There isn't a step out of turn or a hair out of place on this wine. Good acidity. A memorable finish that, as always, leaves you with a lingering impression of pure fruit, depth, and elegant expression. This was my "it" wine back in 2001, and it remains so today. Every time I crack a bottle -- this is the fifth time I've had it -- it's like tempting fate, but each time, Pentagon teaches me something new about itself and about Pinot Noir. For that, I'm always grateful. No rating (this wine will always be A+ to me, no matter what.)
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