Sean Thackrey has been making artistic, uniquely crafted wines for years so it is with great pleasure that I write my very first entry about one of his bottles. I'm actually suprised it took me so long.
Thackrey has been known to study ancient texts on early winemaking in order to replicate the true process of making wine in the old ages. He does unheard of things like let the grapes rest a day after picking and before they are crushed because it was the way things were done back in the 19th century. It is this strive for perfection and authenticity that leads to highly memorable bottles.
I'll never forget the first time I tried Thackrey's Pleiades at Del Frisco's in New York City. The wine blew my mind. It was unlike any Syrah blend I had ever tasted with loads of complexity and unusual flavors exploding in my mouth. I spent most of that dinner just smelling the glass and sniffing the cork once I was out of wine. I didn't want to forget the alluring intoxicating aroma.
That night I went to every wine store I could find looking to buy a bottle but came up emptyhanded. I quickly discovered that it was primarily a restaurant wine. I searched the internet and stumbled upon Sean Thackrey:: Wine-Maker. I emailed Thackrey himself and he was kind enough to put me on his direct order winelist. I am forever thankful. Every year I order a case or two of his wines (lots of his Pleiades but also some of his many other new concoctions like his Andromeda Pinot Noir, his Sirius Petite Sirah, a delicious Sangiovese that will restore your faith in this varietal and his higher end Orion Syrah). He makes some of the finest wines on the planet.
The label on the bottle of the Pleiades says it all:
"The object of Pleiades Old Vines is to be delicious, delight the jaded, offend the snob, and go well with anything red wine goes with. Includes Syrah, Sangiovese, Mourvedre, Barbera, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Viognier to name but a few."
Cherry jam, spice and eucalyptus with lots of earthy notes, a hint of pepper and sweet berries on the finish. Ruby red color with soft tannins and fruity bouquet.
SCORE & RECOMMENDATION:
I simply love the complexity and consistency of the Pleiades year after year. The XIV is not nearly as good as the stellar Pleiades IX which is the finest Thackrey I've ever tasted. This is a bit thinner but rich with eucalyptus and spice. If you love Syrah and haven't tasted this yet, you have no idea what you are missing. Retails for around $20. What I love most about the Pleiades is how each vintage tastes different and how the wine evolves once the bottle is opened. It seems to taste very different after a few hours and sometimes even radically different the next day.