Marching to the beat of a drummer largely unknown to any other winemaker in California, Sean Thackerey continues to produce some extraordinary wines, in this case from a field blend planted in 1905. This is clearly a Rhone Ranger blend, with a dense ruby/purple color and loads of incense, camphor, blue and black fruits, earth, and spice. Full-bodied, rich, and bursting with personality, the wine is unique/singular, with an intensity that has to be tasted to be believed. Drink it over the next decade or more. (RP)
Deep, bright ruby-red. Cool, highly complex perfume of bitter cherry, flowers, pepper and smoky minerality. Concentrated and firmly built, with blue fruit and smoke flavors accented by pepper and crushed rock. Really lovely precision here for a wine with 15+% alcohol. Finishes powerful, long and youthfully tight, with firm tannins and terrific lift. Exhilarating wine, but more patience will be rewarded. 93+ points. (ST)
Made from a 106-year-old vineyard in Napa Valley, this wine is usually referred to as Syrah, but its exact components are difficult to define, except to call the wine Rhône-like. It's luxuriously soft in the mouth, with complex flavors of black raspberries, cocoa, cola, herbs, peppery spices and sandalwood. Extraordinarily rich, the wine develops bottle nuances as it warms in the glass.
Described on the front label as 'California native red wine', from Rossi Vineyard, St Helena and on the back label, Thackrey explains, 'old vines is in my view, native California wine, born from a particular field, planted in 1905 so its own particular constellation of grapes. The deep colour, like crushed elderberries, is beautifully dark and lustrous and the aromas are a mix of wild dark berries, a touch of spice and a herbal wildness, though the aromas are still relatively subdued. More aromatic on the palate, generous but not hot, despite its 15.1% alcohol and all in balance. Smooth and velvety but also fresh and alive. Real wine, at ease, with a long tangy finish. So gently textured that you could drink it now but it should also develop much greater complexity, given half the chance. 17/20 points. (JH)
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