Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow


orion08.gif2008 Sean Thackrey Orion Rossi Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa Valley.
This is one of the most sought after reds in California by a select group of wine groupies! And collectors of course…. Thackrey makes truly unique and one of a kind wines that reflect terroir, and imaginative winemaking in an extreme location, he lives almost on the edge of the world in Bolinas, on the West Marin coast, and this also adds to the flavor of the wine. The Orion is his creative masterpiece and signature wine, and the fruit comes from old vines of which we know includes Syrah, but many other grapes are in there, right? I don’t think anyone ever thinks of the type grape when tasting any of Thackrey’s wines, as they go beyond classification and are totally beyond normal description, but then that is what makes them special and intriguing. This vintage of Orion is amazing and I find it complex and wild, though not as funky as the last couple of vintages, with fresher and more vivid flavors. The nose has a briny, earthy quality per normal, but it also has clean fruit notes and is not as gamey or reduced as it can be. Don’t get me wrong here the last few vintages have been stellar wines, it is just that they took much longer to open up and come alive, while the 2008 is more forward and no less complex or deep in layers. The palate has wild plums, blueberry, currants, tangy blackberry fruits and mixed compote with fennel, lavender and dried herbs and grilled meat. Hints of smoke, pepper and crème de cassis are subtle in the background. The finish on this wine is sweet and savory, lasting a long time; again this is a truly fine and interesting wine that is worth finding if you can.
($90 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

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By admin