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It’s my birthday.  I hit the big 5-Oh and pulled this one out the cellar to mark the occasion.  I bought 8 bottles of the 2000 vintage back in ’02 for $59 each, at Costco.  They go for $ 200+ nowadays.

The wine is still a vibrant purple with no signs of age, except the cork that broke in half on extraction.  The nose is heavenly.  Pure Pauillac, with loads of fruit, tobacco, leather, kirsch.  I have wondered for 16 years if this wine would open up like the amazing ’89.  So far, so good.  On the palate- it’s all I had hoped for and more.  Blackberry, cassis, leather, maduro leaf- to name a few of the initial components that meld right in with the fine-grained tannins.  The tannins are very fresh and vibrant, caressing the gums and balancing the gentle acidity to near perfection.  The mid plate is full of cassis and more tobacco leaf.  There is also a fig component that just hit me.  The finish exudes class.  Full of fruit, but with plenty of tertiary flavors mixed in.  Simply amazing.  This wine is young, fresh, vibrant and juicy yet displays grace, a maturity and great structure.  It fulfilled every possible desire I had for a super special treat and has truly rewarded my patience.  I am going with 96 points for this stunner and 5 stars.  It’s a privilege to be able to drink such magnificence.  The family are all working the kitchen to make a special meal, with my 15 year old manning the grill for the Ribeyes.  Salut….