The wine begins with a deep eggplant center surrounded by a lively magenta collar. An authentic cool climate personality emits aromas of ripe blackberries, green olives and graphite. The silky texture of this Syrah is elaborated with flavors of cherry kirsch, bright currants and teriyaki. A sturdy structure and tight tannins are followed by an incredibly exciting finish filled with savory black pepper and fruit lingering long after the sip is swallowed.
The 2011 Syrah Las Colinas is very closed in on itself, most likely because of its recent bottling. Today, it is the wine’s fruit that comes through most clearly of all. Although the Colinas appears to have excellent potential, it also clearly needs time. Based on how previous vintages have blossomed, I would say another 2-3 years is optimal. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2026.
Score: 92+. —Antonio Galloni, April 2013.
90 Points Wine Spectator: “On the chewy side, with ganache and Black Forest cake notes leading the way, followed by loam, plum sauce, roasted fig and singed alder flavors that form the core and finish. Should drop the chewy edge quickly enough. The core of fruit has a bursting feel. Best from 2015 through 2021. 2,410 cases made.” – James Molesworth
A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it exhibits a dense purple color as well as aromas of crushed rocks, sweet black currants, and earth, and a layered, rich, firmly structured yet impressively deep, fleshy mouthfeel. Cellar it for 5-6 years and enjoy it over the following two decades.
92? points. A very somber and inexpressive nose features intensely earth and moderately sauvage aromas of brooding dark berry fruit and violets that precede the rich, full-bodied and overtly powerful flavors that are very Nuits in character. There is a seductively velvet character to the complex, robust and muscular finish that is mildly rustic but wonderfully persistent. Even so, the depth of material here is very impressive and this should be outstanding in due time.
Yamhill Cuvée has an aroma profile that consists of red fruits, minerals, spice, earth, and hint of French Oak. The palate offers youthful tannins and balanced acidity which lead to a smooth and graceful finish. It is approachable in its youth, while maintaining the elegance and finesse of a Domaine Serene Pinot Noir.
Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino is made from a meticulous vine selection in the best lots of the Catena family’s estate vineyards. These Zapata vines are carefully hand tended and produce extremely low yields. The grapes are micro-fermented in new French oak barriques and the wine is then aged for 24 months in new French oak. This wine is made in very limited quantities.
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 $35, 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.” (08/09)