Today’s wine-of-the-week winner is the Pleiades XX Old Vines
California Red Wine. And Sean Thackrey, the maverick behind the
Pleiades, is definitely in the “art” camp.
He argues that the job of a winemaker is not to make scientific
decisions but rather to create pleasure. He makes the point that chefs
do not have to have a food science degree.
Here’s Thackrey’s back story: He lives in Bolinas, in western Marin
County, and his rustic winery is in an eucalyptus grove near the
Pacific’s edge. It’s here that the man who never had any formal
training in winemaking toils. Thackrey doesn’t depend on science as
much as he does ancient and medieval texts on winemaking, and he has
one of the world’s largest selection of these manuscripts. Thackrey, by
the way, reads seven languages.
This chef with his medieval recipe is doing something right. The
Pleiades is rich and ripe, yet manages to be juicy with bright notes
of cranberry and pomegranate. It also has good acid, nice lift and
finishes with a hint of eucalyptus.
Pleiades is named for the Pleiades star cluster, also called the Seven Sisters which makes sense since the wine is a blend of at least seven varietals.
With this tasty wine Thackrey makes a compelling argument that art
rather than science is behind the best winemaking.
What do you think?