New Arrivals in The Cellar
We were pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago when our rep called and asked if we were interested in tasting and bringing in virtually the entire Orin Swift line of wines. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity!
For years, these wines have had extremely limited availability simply because there was never enough supply to satisfy the insatiable demand. But as of today, it’s a whole new deal!
Did we receive a lot of them? Not really, but what we do have is enough. We have sale displays of the wines just inside the doorway entrance to The Cellar and each display includes a recipe to pair, to make enjoying your Orin Swift selection really special. Read on…
Orin Swift Cellars Mannequin Chardonnay 2016 (3 bottles)
Okay, we fibbed a little… This is the only wine we didn’t get much of, just three bottles; but, it’s really inexpensive, so first come, first served…
From the winery: “The vintage mannequins had style and personality, contrary to their contemporary descendants. But like the mannequins on the label, many of our Chardonnay vineyards have their own set of unique characteristics-the soil, the rickety old gate or even the dove hunters in the adjacent field. From the tops of the Stagecoach Vineyard to the cool Sonoma Carneros, we let Chardonnay hang until they turn golden-brown, and after being carefully picked, are barrel fermented in a mix of new and seasoned French oak. (Aged in 40% new French oak sur lie for 9 months)…
“The nose opens with rich aromatics of Meyer lemon, honeydew, butterscotch and honeysuckle , with accents of jasmine, white pepper and fennel pollen. A massive palate consists of ripe white peach and a bold Werther’s Original entry and a layered midpalate of nectarines, pineapple and honey. A touch of green apple and wet stone culminate in a concise crème brulee finish.”
“The 2016 Chardonnay Mannequin has delicate peach blossoms and ripe pears notes with hints of ginger, freshly baked bread and allspice. Full-bodied with a seductive oiliness to the texture, it fills the palate with spicy pears plus savory/toasty nuances, finishing long and perfumed.” 91 points Wine Advocate
Orin Swift Cellars Abstract Proprietary Red 2015
This is the one wine we’ve had in stock for some time due to it’s availability and fantastic price. Customers buy one bottle and readily come back for more. It’s also being poured at one of Armory Square’s top restaurants and that has been leading even more sales.
A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah, it’s aged for 10 months in a combination of new and seasoned French Oak, 35% new.
“As soon as a glass is poured, aromatic notes of Luxardo cherries, ripe black plums and raspberries billow, with intricate hints of coffee, mocha and caramel in the background. The entry is expansive with dark briar fruits, cola and cocoa with tannins that are soft and dusty. The wine finishes with a hint of wild cherry and a lingering sweet oak presence.” ~ Winery
“Moderately complex, though loaded with zesty, supple fruit and offering appealing notes of black raspberry, smoky beef and cracked pepper. Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2022.” 90 points Wine Spectator
Orin Swift Cellars Palermo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Those who know the Cellarmaster’s wife Allison also know that her family name is Palermo. As much as she would like to take credit, the wine is NOT named for her; but, like her, it’s fabulous!!
A bold representation of the signature grape varietal of the NapaValley, Palermo is a portrayal of the patchwork of vineyards across the region.With fruit sourced from the warmer Calistoga andSt. Helena AVAs down tothe cooler AVAs of Coombsville and Oak Knoll, across to the unique microclimates of Pope Valley and Atlas Peak and finally to the famous soils of Rutherford and Oakville, this truly is the Napa Valley in a bottle.
“A dark garnet huesits inthe glass with immediatearomas of ripe cassis and
blackberry. Hints of cocoa, new oak and fir complement the juicy fruit mélange. A full-bodied entry is succeeded by a mid-palate of dark fruits and a smooth, integrated minerality. The tannins are well developed, allowing the wine to finish with length.” ~ Winery
“Big and ripe wine, but it shows outstanding tannic backbone and richness. Full body, lots of fruit, but this still shows form. Drink now.” 92 points James Suckling
“All Napa Valley fruit and a blend dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Merlot and Malbec, was aged only 10 months in 35% new French oak. Bottled early to accentuate its fruit, this wine has soft, low-acid flavors, plenty of creme de cassis, chocolate and tobacco leaf, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel and a long finish. It should drink well for the next 10-15 years, perhaps longer.” 91 points Wine Advocate
“The 2016 Orin Swift ‘Palermo’ Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 10 months in 35% new French oak prior to bottling. This deep colored Cabernet Sauvignon starts off with aromatics of red bell pepper, sage, blackberry pie and suggestions of coffee grounds. Silky and wonderfully textured, the wine displays nice poise despite its elevated alcohol percentage. Black tea, asian spices, blackberry jam and crème de cassis flavors continue to impress through the finish. This is another gorgeous effort from winemaker David Phinney in this vintage.” 93 points International Wine Report
Orin Swift Cellars Machete Proprietary Red 2016
When we first re-opened The Cellar, we were getting 3 bottles per month of this and then, after two months, NOTHING! This time, we were able to secure a case and boy, is it ever good… A blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache, aged 10 months in French Oak, 40% new.
“Violet ink in the glass, a nose of black plums, cassis, and cacao engage. The robust entry consists of a progressing palate of blackberry and boysenberry compote, a reduction of dark plum and ripe figs, and pure Amarena cherry. Flashes of vanilla and traces of minerality evolve into chalky tannins and a smooth lingering finish.” ~ Winery
“Potent, plump and heady dried berry, violet and sandalwood accents power toward broad-shouldered tannins. Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Drink now through 2024.” 92 points Wine Spectator
Orin Swift Cellars Papillon Proprietary Napa Valley ‘Bordeaux’ Red 2015
If you have never laid eyes on an Orin Swift bottle and have seen the distinctive labels that each wine has, it’s worth coming in and visiting The Cellar just to gaze at each bottles art. While the Cellarmaster loves them all, Papillon may be his favorite! So, come in and check it out because you just might be intrigued enough to pick up a bottle…
“An intense ink with a garnet rim, the wine opens with powerful aromatics of cassis, ripe boysenberry, and chaparral with hints of graphite, sage, fire-roasted meats and fresh brioche. The entry floods the palate with ripe dark fruit flavors of blackberry and black cherries as well as fresh minerality and a touch of kir and crème de menthe. With traces of tannin, the wine finishes with a lingering sweet licorice and a smooth acidity. Overall, this vintage of Papillon truly characterizes the theme-bold and massive yet also delicate and complex.” ~ Winery
“Very deep purple-black colored, the 2015 Papillon Proprietary Red features expressive crème de cassis, mulberries, plum preserves and chocolate box notes with wafts of underbrush, dried herbs and Indian spices. Full-bodied, rich, opulent and spicy in the mouth, it has a velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing long with a lively pepper and herbs lift.” 94 points Wine Advocate
“A big, rich and potent style, with layers of flavors extending from black licorice to dark berry, loamy earth, cedar and tobacco. Unfolds impressively on the palate, smooth and effortless.” 93 points Wine Spectator
“A lighter and fresher yet very enjoyable nose that shows slate, just-picked blueberries, citrus and minerals. Medium to full body, vibrant acidity and a fresh finish. Drink now or hold.” 91 points James Suckling
Orin Swift Cellars 8 Years in the Desert Proprietary Red 2017
And last, but certainly not least…
David Phinney, the creator of “The Prisoner,” is back making Zinfandel under the label he created, Orin Swift Cellars! Eight years… That’s how long Phinney’s hiatus was (well, was required to take) from making Zinfandel as part of his non-compete when he sold his popular brand, “The Prisoner.” Finally free to produce a Zinfandel under the Orin Swift Cellars label, Phinney pays homage to his “time in the desert” with this stunning Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah blend.
“Heady aromas of brambly raspberry, black fig and peppercorn dominate; time in glass exposes more – dark chocolate, fennel and High Sierra forest floor. The palate is lush and opulent with blackberries, dark plums and currants. More flavors add to the quality of the blend – a visceral minerality and fresh Herbs de Provence. Fully integrated with puckering tannins, the wine bows out with finesse.” ~ Winery