Date: 9 December 2012
Wine: Sean Thackrey 2010 Pinot Noir Clone 114 Wentzel Vineyard Cassiopeia
Origin: Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Revelation: Has Sean Thackrey turned a 180? This was my impression when I tasted the 2010 vintage of Pinot Noir Clone 114 from his new Cassiopeia project in the Wentzel Vineyard.

From my early experiences with Thackrey’s wines, I concluded they were interesting to taste, but I did not desire to drink them. I found them beastly. So, I’ve not followed these wines for years. However, this bottling upended my disposition. It exuded elegance and Pinot Noir-ness. It was decidedly reflective of not only its Anderson Valley origin but also its Dijon clone. In a piece I recently wrote for the Court of Master Sommeliers, I described Clone 114 as:

Early ripening; profound color with purple inflections; complex flavors; concentrated black and red fruits; seemingly intrinsic balance; fine yet abundant tannin.

This wine proved an excellent case study of Clone 114. I’m both very curious and very eager to try the other individually bottled clones in the project, 115, 667 and 777, as well as the blend combining all four. My interest is partially academic but primarily hedonistic. The Clone 114 was stunningly delicious.