Old & Irreverent 2006 Thackrey Orion Red

A poet, hermit, iconoclast, reader of ancient wine-growing texts – all these things apply to Sean Thackrey. But what about his wine, and more to the point – the 2006 Thackrey Orion Red, considered to be the flagship wine by this highly-celebrated wine maker. Let’s take a deeper look at both, and whether you should buy this wine at all.

 2006 Thackrey Orion Red – an Overview

Sean Thackery is definitely on the fringe of the wine community, but the wines he and Thackrey & Company produce appeal to mainstream critics nonetheless. Perhaps it’s his obsession with ancient texts, or unconventional mystical wine-making methods, like letting grapes vat-ferment outdoors, or his unabashed distaste for wine snobbery and his outspoken views about concept of terroir, such as his jab at the Appellation d’origine contrôlée’s (“AOC”) for fostering “vitacultural racism.”

Whatever his views, the 2006 Thackrey Orion Red has received serious praise from prominent names, including a near perfect rating of 98 points from Robert Parker. This 2006 vintage, along with the 2007 Orion Red have been particularly popular with Parker. Among his comments on the 2006 vintage, Parker notes the rich, “inky purple/black color” of this flagship wine and its rich, blueberry and black raspberry aroma accented with earthy “forest floor and floral undertones.” In addition to its nose, Parker was also struck by this wine’s “personality” – including its full body, silky texture and very big – “blockbuster” – finish. Nevertheless, Parker confirmed that the 2006 Thackrey Orion Red is not just an “attention grabber,” but is also “perfectly balanced” and classic in every sense of the word – a wine that does its old, 1905 Rossi vines justice and pays tribute to “pre- Prohibition pioneers and their field blends.” 

We think the 2006 Thackrey Orion Red is a gem for fine wine lovers, and can be consumed or stored for many years for those speculating on fine wine. But more than its bold flavor and remarkably well “balanced” notes, this wine has taken on a bit of the wine maker himself, and that is even more interesting to us. Thackrey clearly has a love of the ancient art of wine-making and his wines have clearly loved him back.

Single Bottle Price (750 ml.)

Currently, a single 750 bottle of 2006 Thackrey Orion Red is going for $350 on amazon.com. At the time of this writing, there was no 2006 vintage in the 750 ml size at vinopedia.

Should I Buy This Wine?

I generally don’t find fault with Robert Parker’s ratings and, although I haven’t tried the 2006 Thackrey Orion Red just yet, I am pretty sure that I would be blown away by it. Just the thought of 100+ year old vines that went into the Orion Red, and Thackrey’s open-air vats fermenting away under the light of the moon makes this a very special one. If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to buy a bottle, or more, I say why the heck not!

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