D66 is the new release from Orin Swift's winery and vineyards in Maury, France.
previous vintage 95 Points Robert Parker: "The top wine is the IGP Cotes Catalanes Pharaon, and it’s a barrel selection that ended up being an even split of Grenache and Syrah that was aged in 75% new French oak. While the cooler, late vintage didn’t favor Grenache, Richard commented that Syrah excelled, hence the larger portion of Syrah in the blend than normal. About as sexy and textured as they come in the vintage, this beautiful 2014 offers lots of crème de cassis, black raspberry, chocolate and peppery nuances to go with a full-bodied, luxuriously textured, hedonistic slant on the palate. Despite the ripeness level, it stays fresh and lively, with notable underlying structure. Hats off to the team here. This beauty will cruise for another decade...Winemaker Richard Case has been making terrific wines in almost every vintage now; he continues to fashion rich, full-flavored, gorgeously textured wines, eschewing the ridiculous trend towards making mid-weight, lean, so-called food friendly wines. These latest are up with the crème de la crème of the vintage."
The small town of Maury is in the outer Roussillon very close to the Spanish border and nestled in the Pyrénées-Orientales where owner Dave Phinney owns approximately 235 acres of mostly Grenache vines with a little Syrah and Carignan. The majority of the vines were planted more than 60 years ago, with many of the vineyards being even older. The terrain is dominated by black schist with a couple small deposits of Granite and Limestone in red rocky soils known as Angile. Schist is a crystalline rock based soil that retains heat well but is poor in organic nutrients and nitrogens. In other words, these vines really have to struggle. The result is a very dark, concentrated, and rich wine.
Shatter is a delicious collaboration between Dave Phinney (Orin Swift Cellars) and Joel Gott. Highly recommended.
Shatter comes from the small town of Maury in the Roussillon region of France. The hillside grenache vines were planted over 60 years ago in black schist, a slate-like, rocky soil common to the area. Though nutrient-poor, it retains heat well, allowing the slow-ripening grenache to reach full maturity through cool nights. Tough soil, strong winds and hot days push the vines and cause shatter, or coulure, in the grape clusters, naturally thinning fruit from the vines and producing more intensely concentrated flavors. After harvest, the fruit was cold-soaked for 30 days to help further concentrate the wine, then fermented and aged at Dave's winery in Maury.
previous vintage 92 Points Robert Parker: "A collaboration between Napa's Joel Gott and Dave Phinney, the semi-opaque Cotes Catalanes Grenache is a smoking blend of 100% Grenache that comes from the singular, black schist soils located around the village of Maury, in the Agly Valley in the Roussillon. Aged in French oak (a small part being new) and hitting 15.6% natural alcohol, this sexy, full-bodied, pedal-to-the-metal effort bears plenty of resemblance to the old-vine, 100% Grenache efforts coming from Chateauneuf du Pape. Kirsch liqueur, blackberry, toasted spice, garrigue and hints of vanilla bean all flow nicely to a seamless, silky, yet decadently styled red that has fine tannin, and a blockbuster, heady finish. It will certainly not appease those looking for lightweight aromas and flavors, but count me a fan. The oak is still present, so give it a year in bottle; it will drink nicely for another 5-6 years."
96 points Parker
Brand new release from Orin Swift and one of his best ever! Extremely limited.
previous vintage 96 Points Robert Parker: "The Proprietary Red Blend Machete finished at 15.7% natural alcohol and is a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache aged 10 months in 40% new French oak. This wine is telltale opaque bluish/purple with a super nose of barbecue meat and herbs, blackberries, blueberries, white flowers and sweet, dark raspberries in the background. The wine has fabulous texture, great intensity, full-bodied power (15.7%), and a long, long finish. It is a killer effort and like the Abstract, probably best drunk in its first 5-6 years of life because of its charm."
Machete is a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Petite Sirah may be winemaker Dave Phinney’s favorite grape varietal and wine . He has been growing and making it since the 2000 vintage. Massive and powerful with instense color and structure, a limited release Petite Sirah blend called “Machete” was launched in 2009. The label concept has been two years in the making,and is decidedly unique in its various formats.
**Bottled with 12 different labels, you may not receive the one pictured, but all case orders of 12 bottles will receive all 12 different labels*
Brand new release from Orin Swift! Palermo is a fantastic buy in Napa Cabernet under $40.
A stunning, true-to-form Phinney wine: the Orin Swift 'Palermo' Cabernet is rich, dense, concentrated, fruit-forward and velvety. Each year, they purchase more Cabernet grapes than they need for Mercury Head and Papillon so they can have a virtual palette of vineyards and corresponding "spice rack" elements, if you will, to choose from to make the perfect blends. When their selection runneth-over and some of the sums of the parts behave more positively on their own, they deserve to be bottled separately and that is how a new wine was born, Palermo. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc blend selected from Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Spring Mountain vineyards.
New release of the fantastic new Abstract Red from Orin Swift. Limited new release.
previous vintage 94 Points Robert Parker: "The absurdly delicious Proprietary Red Blend Abstract comes from multiple AVAs: Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Amador and El Dorado and is a blend of Grenache, Petite Sirah and Syrah aged 10 months in 30% new French oak. This is a beauty and a great price for a wine of this quality. The wine has an opaque ruby/purple color, gorgeous nose of creosote, kirsch liqueur and cassis with a touch of licorice, Provençal herbs and pepper. Delicious, full-bodied, unctuously textured, thick and juicy, this mouth-filling, big wine cuts a broad swath across the palate, but is never hot or awkward. Best drunk in its first 5-6 years. It finished at 15.7% natural alcohol."
Abstract is a blend of Grenache, Petite Sirah, and Syrah primarily from hillside vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Mendocino. The aromas are all berry and black fruits, with neatly integrated caramelized oak. A huge entry coats the mouth. The wine has tons of weight on the mid-palate and is dense with layers of ripe cherry and strawberries. The finish is laced with long, soft tannins that go on and on. Inspired by the wines Dave Phinney tasted in the Pyrénées-Orientales over the past two years, in this mountainous outpost of France’s Roussillon region, Dave started his own small winery. He wanted to make something from similar varietals (back here at home) that you can open and enjoy every day.
Exclusive new limited release (#5) from Orin Swift Cellars: 8 Years in The Desert. Eight limited edition bottles will be released – one at a time – for the next eight years.
previous vintage 93 Points Robert Parker: "Medium garnet-purple colored, the Orin Swift Zinfandel Blend 8 Years in the Desert delivers notions of stewed plums, baked raspberries and fruitcake with hints of powdered cinnamon, clove oil, tree bark, hoisin and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is chock-full of ripe, spicy black and red fruits, supported by chewy tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and earthy. 8 Years in the Desert is a blend of 56% Zinfandel, 34% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah."
The Story: Dave has included a personal note for everyone selling the wine on the attached and as to what this release means to him after 8 Years of having not worked with Zinfandel which in context is the varietal that helped cement his career in the industry. Unlike other varietals Dave had to draw on an 8 Year memory of making Zinfandel and knowing that there would be a certain level of expectation of quality from both a wine and packaging elements. During the 8 Year hiatus, there has been a focus and thought regarding the wine and label every single day up until the actual harvest and design could begin which multiplied the effort by a factor of 20.
Winery Notes: The fifth chapter in the eight-part Zinfandel epic from legendary winemaker Dave Phinney is finally here. From the beginning, the concept behind 8 Years in the Desert involved creating eight unique labels—one for each vintage. It all started in 2008, when Dave Phinney sold The Prisoner brand. By doing so, he entered an 8-year non-compete where he could barely utter the word Zinfandel. In that 8-year exile, Dave published a book named 8 Years in the Desert which would become the name of his next ode to the Zinfandel grape. With the fifth chapter of 8 Years in the Desert, Orin Swift Cellars has taken the art of Zinfandel to yet another level. We hope you enjoy this wine as much as we enjoyed creating it.