Sunday, August 30, 2009

2003 Sean Thackrey Andromeda

Sometimes you just need to drink one of your high-end wines for absolutely no reason other than you feel like it. Why save these top wines for special occasions, when you might not even drink them then? That was part of the impetus for Open That Bottle Night (OTBN). So Friday night, I made it my own summer edition of OTBN.

I decided on the 2003 Sean Thackrey Andromeda ($80), which is made by one of my favorite California producers, Sean Thackrey. You can read much more about him in one of my prior posts about this "maverick wine-maker." Opening one of his wines is always a great pleasure.

The Andromeda is a Pinot Noir, the grapes coming from the Devil's Gulch Vineyards, a very well known vineyard in Marin County. It is located on a steep, hillside adjacent to the Point Reyes Peninsula. They supply grapes to a number of wineries, including Dutton Goldfield, Schramsberg Wines, and Thomas Fogerty Winery.

Back in 2005, there was a major fire at a warehouse in Vallejo where many wineries, including Thackrey, stored their wine. Many of them lost a significant number of cases and it was said that Thackrey lost much of his 2003 vintage. As he makes only a small production of his wine anyways, then there might not have been much of this 2003 Andromeda available.

As expected, this was not your typical Pinot Noir. It had a deep red color, almost reminding me of a Cabernet. On the nose, there were vibrant aromas of black cherry, raspberry, vanilla and spice. It was a more full-bodied wine, filling your mouth with rich flavors of blueberry, black cherry, raspberry, spice and hints of eucalyptus. Though it had an alcohol content of 15.1%, it did not seem overly alcoholic or hot. It was well balanced, with a lengthy and satisfying finish. It did remind me more of hearty Rhone wine, without any earthiness. I savored every mouthful of this wine, very glad that I had chosen to open it.

Why don't you open a special bottle of wine, just because?

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