Sean Thackrey is one of the world's great winemakers who hangs out in Bolinas California.  This is basically a field blend of what doesn't make his top Cuvees.  Although it is non-vintage, each Cuvee carries a Roman Numeral designate.  This is XI, but the current release is XXV.  This wine is approximately 16 years old and was really made to be drunk in the first few years.  Sometime, however, wines hide in the cellar only to provide a pleasant surprise later on.  It was originally claimed to be a blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Carignan, and Barbera, however, DNA testings may have later added more information on the vineyard.  Ruby in color, just starting to brown a bit.  The nose has a fair amount of Brett reminiscent of an older Chateauneuf du pape.  Mostly a barnyard profile.  Also some cherries and black cherries.  On the palate, this is very nice.  Fresh bright fruit, mostly back raspberries but some cherries and dark cherries.  A bit of complexity with layers of fruit and moist earth.  A strong backbone of acidity.  It drinks more European than California at this point.  Very food friendly.  It improved on opening and stayed strong for a few hours when last tasted.  A very pleasant surprise.  

Grade: 
B+
Score: 
89

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