Sean Thackrey "Pleiades XXIV Old Vines" California Red Blend SKU #1205757


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Tasting Notes

If you try to find the exact cepage on this always-fantastic red blend, you might find yourself gazing up at the heavens for an answer, since you won't get one from the winemaker. The Pleiades might be the only super-allocated, cult California wine for under $25, and it's sure to sell out quickly, as previous vintages have. From "one of California's most iconic and mystical winemakers," says Robert Parker: "Sean Thackrey has logged in 20 or more vintages of consistently stunning wines that perhaps say it all with the simple quote on his label: -Sean A. Thackrey, Vintner, Bolinas, California." (8/2009) XXIV is a new release in 2015, and has not been professionally reviewed, but previous vintages, XXII and XXIII, scored 92 points with Wine Enthusiast and Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, respectively.

Staff Reviews

  • Bryan Brick
    By: Bryan Brick
    K&L Staff Member
    Sean Thackrey has long been the champion of wild blends, out of the way or forgotten about sites and fully old school winemaking. His wines are never simply laid out with precise numbers and percentages rather there is always some mystery about what is exactly going on and that mystery creates intrigue and charm more times than not. Never “clean” or “polished” his wines more often than not bring up the descriptors like “rustic” or “old world.” The Pleiades bottling has long been the door into the wild, magical world of Sean Thackery and this cuvee, the twenty fourth, is no exception. A blend with both red and white varietals this is at once delicious, odd, cerebral and loveable all at once and that is something that is quite hard to pull off with regularity in the world of wine. <br> Resonating aromas of street tar, caraway, tobacco, cherry jam and blackberry cobbler please on the nose carrying a surprising amount of density and weight for such a vibrant, energetic wine. Savory but fruity, ripe but balanced, spicy but soft this is a wine built around pleasant contradictions. A wine where every sip shows something new and exciting. A wine that challenges you and pushes you to pay attention, to listen throughout to what it’s trying to say. Pomegranate, white cherry, blueberry, coffee grounds, black tea and a return of the tar found on the nose, old leather and dried berry fruits are all flavors that swirl around in your mouth as you drink this. There is just so much going on here that you can't help but like this odd, slightly magical, but overall fun and delicious wine.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    This is always such a cool wine. A total kitchen sink blend, this particular release seems much lighter in color and body than my recollection of previous releases. It is bright, floral, spicy, and tons of fun. It reminds me a little bit of the Heitz Grignolino in its intensely floral nose. It is a bit like Pinot Noir in its lighter body, bright acidity, and incredible pairability with all kinds of food (a traditional Thanksgiving dinner comes to mind...) It's a touch like a great Italian red in its structure. It really hits the great points of so many types of wine, but stands all on its own as a unique and crowd-pleasing blend. Don't miss this one!
  • John Majeski
    By: John Majeski
    K&L Staff Member
    Whether you choose to mispronounce this wine 'Plee-a-deez' or the proper Greek 'Ply-a-deez' makes little diff to me, as my only advice to you is to "try it please!" A cluster of devoted fans over the years has proved this wine's cultlike merit, and this latest numeric cepage will likely be gone as soon as customers turn their starry gaze upon it. Sean Thackrey is a magus who blends sunshine, earth, a bit of yeast and little grapes into beguiling singularities that we still call wines. A touch riper and fleshier than recent versions, with macerated flavors of raspberry, black cherry, fruitcake spice and sous bois .... the ineffable meets the ethereal, so there you are.....
  • Gary Norton
    By: Gary Norton
    K&L Staff Member
    An ever changing, non-vintage, multi-varietal blend of head scratching deliciousness. This year's release shows a nose of red berries, Campari, black cherry and dried violets. The body is a shave thinner than it's been in previous vintages, but still has solid weight and texture. I love the fact that this wine is perennially inconsistent in both varietal breakdown and flavor profiles, yet year after year it's fantastic. Thackrey is known for taking the road less traveled and this is a prime example of the payoff for doing so.
  • Dave Genevro
    By: Dave Genevro
    K&L Staff Member
    Plums and baking spices filled the nose of this wine. Black cherry fruit, a medium bodied mouth feel and a generous, alomost juicy structure rpounds out on the palate. One for crowd pleasing and entertaining purposes, or every day enjoyment for CA red blend fans. A blend loved by many of our guests, every year it is released. 14.5% ABV.
  • Christie Brunick
    By: Christie Brunick
    K&L Staff Member
    Consistently one of the best non-vintage blends on the market today. Always food friendly, yet drinkable on its own, this is the perfect red that can be enjoyed all year round. Spicy, floral, medium-full bodied, supple texture and ripe fruit. This is always surprising and intriguing every time.


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