Today's TN: 2002 Hitching Post Highliner Pinot Noir (Santa Maria, Central Coast) $34 The 2001 version of this wine was immortalized in Sideways, but many people have said that the 2002 and upcoming 2003 vintages are even better, and tonight I cracked open a bottle of the 2002 to see if it lived up to the hype. I enjoyed this wine with Italian food, lasagna, roast chicken, caesar salad, and garlic bread. We served the wine without decanting, about 20 minutes after taking it out of the wine fridge at 55F. This was probably a mistake, as I think it could use about 30 minutes of air time to properly integrate. The nose was beautiful, with lots of fruit, cherries, raspberries, and black currant. Initially there was a little bit of heat, but after a little time to warm up in the glass, it was beautifully integrated. A bit thicker than I'm used to from Pinot, this was certainly a big one at about 14.5% alcohol, but you didn't notice the alcohol at all once the wine was integrated. it was silky smooth without obscuring much of the fruit. In my opinion this is a great pinot, approaching world class status, and I think it could get better with a year in the cellar. 94 points This was so good I just ordered another half a case from 2020wines... unfortunately $40/btl but worth it.