New release of Orin Swift's Papillon Cabernet has arrived! Fast becoming a cult classic, grab a few bottles before it goes away.
94 Points Robert Parker: "The Bordeaux Proprietary Blend Papillion was aged 16 months in 40% new French oak. Fairly priced for what the consumer gets, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Bordeaux Blend Papillon springs from the glass with plum preserves, baked blackcurrants and black mulberries with touches of menthol, tobacco leaf and pencil lead. Full-bodied, the palate has a firm texture of ripe, grainy tannins with a lively line and a long earthy finish."
93 Points Wine Spectator: "Packed with steeped blackberry, plum and fig notes, this red pumps a lot of fruit along, but there's ample support, with roasted apple wood, licorice root and sweet bay leaf accents coursing underneath. Loamy-edged grip gives the finish a focused feel. Plenty here. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2034."
Orin Swift Cellars is best known for The Prisoner Zinfandel blend, one of our most popular wines the last few years. Winemaker Dave Phinney has turned his midas touch at creating delicious blends to produce the third vintage of Papillon, a stunning bordeaux-blend from choice Napa Valley vineyards in Howell Mountain, Rutherford, Oakville and St. Helena. 60% Cabernet, 37% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. A beautiful, rich young Cabernet that has been getting serious buzz in the wine world,
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."