not sure how much being high alters a tasting note. very dark in color, not quite inky black but dark purples with hints of sun kissed rubies in the glass. great legs. first thoughts on the nose didn't focus on individual aromas but rather the quality of the whole--refined, elegant, velvety, and yet powerful. I haven't had merlot in ages so this was a treat. lots of dark fruit aroma and I think the influence of the French oak was apparent too. on the palate, it tastes and feels very well balanced. there is power and a robust quality at 15.3 but not bursting with tannin. there is fruit on the front with a structure thru the middle that eventually ends in a finish that dissolves over your tongue and throat. this has been excellent! opened it with no food for no reason.
June 2013: Had with steak and this is past it's prime. Should be better after 9 years.
Wine Spectator(2004 Vintage) Rating: 91/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator
Wine Spectator(2000 Vintage) Rating: 88/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 12/31/03
Wine Advocate(2000 Vintage) Rating: 87/100 - As reviewed by The Wine Advocate