We tasted the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Hug Rancho Ontiveros Pinot Noirs as part of the ongoing cellar purge -- and in the interest of science, of course.

2004 Hug Pinot Noir Rancho Ontiveros Santa Maria Valley

Musty nose. Sharp on the palate, faded fruit, hot. Fine tannins, sharp acidity, way out of balance at this point in its life. Finishes long but harsh. Way past peak. 14.5% ABV. Loved this when it was younger. "D"

2005 Hug Pinot Noir Rancho Ontiveros Santa Maria Valley

Slightly murky red color. Not much on the nose. Cherries and strawberries on the palate but murky and a bit hot. Fine tannins, decent acidity and balance. Finishes short and undistinguished. Drink up, past peak. Very nice in its youth. 13.5% ABV. "C-"

2006 Hug Pinot Noir Rancho Ontiveros Santa Maria Valley

Cherry red with fading at the rim. Faint, pleasant herbal nose. Nice cherry fruit, but with a metallic note. Fine tannins, decent acidity, bit out of balance. Finishes long but hot. Well past peak. 13.7% ABV. "C-"

Charlie