Jun 16 2009
I’ve done a lot of writing about white wines. I don’t want the folks at Murphy-Goode Wines to think I’m biased towards white. That’s absolutely un-true. As luck would have it, I stopped by Venice Beach Wines to see how Taste Of The Nation went for them. It’s a cold, cloudy day in Venice. Rain is eminent. Finally, the right type of weather to put me in the mood for red.
I’m in the California section. Something catches my eye. A wine from Bolinas? That hippy town North of San Francisco, where, everyone goes surfing? They don’t make grapes there? But a bottle of Sean H. Thackrey Pleiades XIII Old Vines California Red Table Wine ($23.49) stares me back and say’s “oh yes, they do”. A table wine (blends of many different varietals) for $23 bucks seems steep. Oscar nods his head yes, his eyes light up. Okay, here we go!
Wow! The Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel stand out to me. Visions of cherries dance through my head with this very fruit forward blend. I’m also getting plenty of spice here. The finish is long and what I like most about this wine is that it is very full bodied.
I Google wine and Bolinas. Only one result comes up. It’s the story behind this wine and the winemaker, and it’s a fascinating one. Thackrey’s reputation supersedes him in the industry. He is a former Art Historian and speaks 7 langue’s. His wine experiment was initially intended as a way to cover the fence at his Bolinas home. What resulted was the noblest of wine pursuits that I’ve ever come across. His approach is just my style. Renegade wine maker who doesn’t follow the rules.
James Nestor describes him “stand(ing) out—not so much for twisting the rules of the game as for ignoring them in his pursuit to create wines unlike anything else Napa and Sonoma (or any other wine region, for that matter) are producing. His approach has made him a lone wolf in the industry, a position he obviously relishes.
The Wine Lovers Page suggest pairing a down-home Cajun meal. I know Murphy-Goode is fond of Cajun eats and music. I dig through my freezer for some Andouille sausage; pour another glass of wine and dig into Thackery’s website while dinner cooks. As far as I concerned, I’ve found my first cult wine – one that I can afford!
**The story in San Francisco Magazine is a great read. Thackery’s website is . . . for smart people. Me not included. I highly recommend taking a peak at both! **
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