N.V. Sean Thackrey, Pleiades XXIII, Old Vines Red, California.
This lovely and iconic kitchen sink blend from old vine hillside fruit is another gem from Sean Thackrey and his winery in the remote coastal hamlet of Bolinas. There is a mix of black grapes and even a white grape or two blended in this cuvee, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Viogner, who knows? But, this vintage seems to be certainly different from the past 5 or 6 versions, it has much clearer fruit, almost no menthol/herbal notes that have been present for years and the wine feels more Pinot Noir like, silky smooth, creamy almost with loads of rich cherry and hints of mocha, raspberry, plum, lavender and peppery spices. This XXIII is about 13.9 % Alcohol and is pretty dense, this is a rich and lush Pleiades that should prove good and pleasing for 3-5 years easy. I think it should develop a bit more typical funkiness in the bottle over time, but it is seriously enjoyable as is and it will also appeal to a whole new set of fans, as it is not as extremely weird or as wild as is has been. I liked them all, and even though it was a shock at first, I really liked this edition. Also look for the new La Pleiade, this is the Thackrey Pleiades White, it is also really nice!
($24 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive
avail at www.sfwtc.com