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.
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."