In 1979 Sean Thackrey turned his hand from selling antique books to winemaking. He is definitely not your usual winemaker. Living on the edge of the world down in Marin county he makes these handcrafted wines in his outdoor winery beneath the eucalyptus trees.
Pleiades is very much his “chef’s special”. It doesn’t bear a vintage (Roman numerals depict the identity of the particular version) nor does he put the same grape varieties in it every year. XXII is dominated by Pinot Noir with Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Sangiovese amongst many others. It is meant to be drunk right now, which accounts for its wonderful accessibility and appeal. It is warm, ripe and deliciously luscious with soft velvety tannins. Orion, more or less a Syrah, is a different beast: young, intense and vibrant with plum, raspberry and toasty oak, it comes from the Andrew Rossi vineyard in St. Helena, where the vines, planted in 1905 are old, gnarled and extremely low yielding.
Sean is the kind of wine-maker who makes the “business” of wine the pleasure that it can be. Totally dedicated to the production of his own style of wine, a little eccentric possibly (as so many of the best people are), straight-talking yet generous and very much with the courage of his own convictions. His wines are as individual and idiosyncratic as he is. In the words of Robert Parker: “One of California's most iconic and mystical winemakers, 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.”