If you are a fan of Pinot Noir, you owe it to yourself to acquire at least one or two bottles of the ’06 Amphitheatre. If you’re unable to acquire an Amphitheatre (price or availability) then I’d suggest at least an ’06 Reserve Pinot Noir.
This release has real promise! It drinks superbly now (why wait?), but I anticipate a long shelf life – cellaring in excess of 8-10+ years, it’ll only get better with age.
Its soft, smooth like a velvet glove – you’ll drink the whole bottle and look for another. I’ll admit I think it will develop into a far more complex wine given some careful cellaring.
The Amphitheatre is a bit more pricey than the ’06 reserve (about ~$40/bottle more) and given the choice between six reserves for the price of 3 Amphitheatres you would be hard pressed to make a decision.
Ultimately, let your plans guide you – buy the reserve to drink now, and the Amphitheatre for the longer term – my instinct tells me the Amphitheatre will be a giant in 5 years or so.
Update: Well, it had to happen. After the Riedel master class at the 2008 Brisbane Food and Wine show, I’m left wondering how much better the Amphitheatre would have tasted out of Sommelier Burgundy glasses… It’s lucky I have three extra bottles..