La Pleiade is a mysterious wine, maybe as mysterious as the name or label. Yet it deserves much more acclaim. The name refers to the seven stars Pleiades cluster, also depicted on the label, but it also stands for a group of French Renaissance poets. The renaissance might be referring to a new take on Shiraz: full bodied, yet elegant at the same time. The vineyard is a joint venture between Ron Laughton of Jasper Hill fame, and Michel Chapoutier from the Northern Rhone.
The 2006 La Pleiade is a deep purple coloured wine, with an appealing set of fruit characteristics. There is red and black cherry and blackberry, and the fruit tastes fresh (after 9 years!). This is a well balanced wine with a satisfying mouthfeel. The wine delivers a velvety coating of the mouth, with a beautiful and pure fruit core and dry tannins, which take a back seat. This wine has weight, but it is not heavy, if this makes sense. Actually, it is a hard wine to describe. It is perfect for a cold winter night, and you look forward to a second or third glass. The wine drinks very well now and will do so for another 5+ years.