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A Tale of Two Orions

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Periodically, we dig into our stash of Sean Thackrey wines here at Adams, Heritier and Associates to find out how this or that is coming along. The latest items on our agenda were two vintages of Mr. Thackrey’s flagship bottling, Orion. These are wines that have a track record for cellaring a decade or more, but sometimes, you just have to pull the cork on one or two to see where they’re at in their evolution. These were the first Orions we’ve had since our visit with Sean back in May, 2010. Here’s our report on what we tasted.

2004 Sean Thackrey Orion California Native Red Wine, Rossi Vineyard, St. Helena, 14.4% alc. Find this wine
2005 Sean Thackrey Orion California Native Red Wine, Rossi Vineyard, St. Helena, 14.9% alc. Find this wine

The 2004 and 2005 Sean Thackrey Orion California Native Red Wines are both lovely wines in their relative youth, though the difference in one vintage is noticeable. Both show a solid core of rich, ripe (but never over-ripe) black plum and blackberry fruit, each on a full bodied frame, balanced, well-structured and long on the finish. Both show that kiss of sweet oak (but not too sweet or heavy handed) that so nicely complements Thackrey’s wines in their youth and gradually integrates as they age, and these have a fine track record for extended cellaring. As one might expect, the ’04 is the more ready-to-drink wine, while the ’05 still retains some puckery youthful piss-and-vinegar. That’s not to say that the ’05 isn’t drinkable with air, but really, if you have some of this one, hold off for at least another two to five years. The ’04 offers some subtle notes of lavender that add to the appeal, and while it’s already coming into a nice window of tasting opportunity, patience will continue to reward for several years down the road. In the long run, the ’05 may turn out to be the better wine, but for now, the ’04 is the one to uncork.

Reporting from Day-twah,

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Related posts:

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  2. Sean Thackrey Pleiades XIX
  3. A Tale of Two Michigan India Pale Ales
  4. An Afternoon With Sean Thackrey

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