NV Sean Thackrey Pleiades XIX Old Vines

I first tried Pleiades, the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink blend made by legendary and idiosyncratic Marin County winemaker Sean Thackrey, back in 2003. On a visit to Chicago, a sharp salesman at House of Glunz, Chicago’s oldest wine store, easily filled my request for something out of the ordinary by unhesitatingly pulling out a bottle of Pleiades X. He explained how this winemaker made this inimitable blend, combining just about everything he had on hand to produce a satisfying wine. To say I was intrigued is an understatement. How much did I like the wine? It is part of only a handful of bottles sitting on top of the bookshelf in my office. I’ve only had the chance to taste it a couple of times since then, until I managed to rustle up a few bottles in my hometown this summer. I was almost worried about being disappointed, but most certainly wasn’t. This particular Pleiades (XX has also been released) is again a symphonic, multilayered blend that keeps changing at every sip, with spices jumping over red fruit, richness competing with acid, eucalyptus rolling in over earthy, gamey notes. It’s unlike anything else, for sure, an unidentifiable drinking object that defies definition and expands the possibilities of what wine can be. Highly recommended. RC

WHO: Sean Thackrey
WHAT: Red blend (Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, others)
WHERE: Marin County, California

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