Sean Thackrey, “Pleiades XXI” Old Vines, California, USA
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Roving Sommelier is passionate about premium quality wines. Sean Thackrey is a one-off and is many wine lovers’ favourite Californian vigneron and has developed a fine reputation and cult status internationally, especially with connoisseurs of iconic North American vineyards. His quirky and individual winemaking style is unique, as he prefers to craft esoteric wines, mostly blended from different grape varieties and sometimes several vintages together. Sean Thackrey is an American winemaker based in Marin County, California in the town of Bolinas. From a background as director of an art gallery, Thackrey has been described as an unconventional winemaker who has done pioneering work in promoting California Syrah.
The experimental nonvintage blend Pleiades (Sean Thackrey Pleiades California Red Table Wine) was first released in 1992. Made from a host of different grape varieties (potentially both white and red, such as Syrah, Barbera, Zinfandel, Carignan, Pinot Noir, Mourvèdre and Grenache, amongst others), potentially from different regions and different vintages. The recipe changes every year, depending on the decisions of Thackrey and the fruit sourced. Thackrey has said, “It’s like a chef’s special. You trust the chef, so you’re prepared to order the dish of the day”.
The object of Pleiades Old Vines is to be delicious, delight the jaded, irritate the Wine Police, and generally go well with anything red wine goes well with. This twenty-first edition (XXI), bottled in August 2011, includes Sangiovese, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Marsanne, to name but a few. Fragrant and voluptuous when first released, it will become far more subtle and complex with age, as of course we all will: but such restraint may just be too much to ask….
I suggest you decant this wine at least one hour before service. Best enjoyed with red meats and game dishes and in a convivial atmosphere.
Alcohol: 14.9% abv (75cl)
Grape varieties: Sangiovese, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Mourvedre and Marsanne
Flavour Profile: Medium-bodied, Highly aromatic, Rich, Complex, Savoury, Herbaceous, Floral, Black Fruits, Spice