When it comes to Pinot Noir, appellation is everything. At least, that's my view. Of course, Burgundy is the appellation, but I've never been able to afford the really good red Burgundies. Occasionally, I can find a good Bourgogne Rouge, but at that level I tend to prefer Pinots from California's North Coast--Anderson Valley, Russian River and Sonoma Coast. They are not cheap, either, but I have managed to get some good selections for a reasonable price at auction. Carneros, of course, is the Napa appellation for Pinot, and it has a long-standing reputation for producing good wines. That's why I bought this Cameron Hughes closeout.
Deep ruby. Lots of upfront pepper and spice. Also flowers and cranberries. Has a lot of what I like in North Coast Pinots. Rather full on the palate with that silky Pinot texture. Dark berry flavors and a ripe finish. Subtle complexity. Probably at its peak since it starts to show oxidized traits after being re-corked and sitting on the shelf for three days.