Deep medium ruby. Knockout nose combines black raspberry, blackberry, candied violet, licorice pastille, black pepper and a suggestion of dusty earth. Like a liquid confection in the mouth: thick and sweet yet almost magically shapely and fresh. The longest, most inexorably palate-staining wine of my tour of the North Coast in early March: this lost no strength in my mouth after I had spit it. Damn near close to perfect wine; only my own refusal to give a perfect score to a wine that's still a decade or more short of its peak kept my score down. Bill Harlan, incidentally, compares the 2002 vintage to the 1995, which is showing spectacularly today. (I was able to retaste the extraordinary 2001, which is perhaps even more classic than the 2002 if not quite as extravagantly thick, with slightly more roasted yet sappy aromas and flavors of crystallized berries, minerals, tar and licorice, and great inner-mouth energy and persistence. This very backward wine has the acid/tannin spine to evolve in bottle for 15 to 20 years. On my latest tasting I rated it 96(+?).