A winery known for full-throttle red wines, Orin Swift crafts some exceptional wines that are not for the weary. Orin Swift Cellars was started in 1995 when on a lark, David Swift Phinney took a friend up on an offer and went to Florence, Italy to spend a semester “studying”. During that time, he was introduced to wine, and he later landed a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary harvest worker. In 1998 he founded Orin Swift Cellars; Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his mother’s maiden name. With two tons of zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and grew the company into a multinational brand that now includes 300 acres of vineyards in the Southwest of France. Orin Swift now makes wine in Spain, Italy, Corsica, Argentina and other locations around the globe.
I found the new release wines from Orin Swift to be very compelling. Their red wines come from an outstanding vintage that saw a great deal of heat. You can taste the richness of the vintage in the bottle. The 2014 Orin Swift Machete (WWB, 93) is a rich and viscous bottling that shows massive fruit weight and compelling complexity. It is a great value buy and typically can be found at many area wine shops such as Esquin, Total Wines and BevMo. Orin Swift also now has a Napa tasting room. Learn more about Orin Swift’s strong lineup at http://www.orinswift.com. Here are some of the greatnew release wines by Orin Swift.
2014 Orin Swift 'Machete' Red Wine- A compelling blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache, this inky hued wine was aged 10 months in French oak prior to bottling. Needing more than an hour to express itself and aromatically reticent at first, some air yields deep aromas reminiscent of rose petals, tar, pipe tobacco, coffee grounds and blueberry compote. There are rich flavors of black plum, creosote, black olive, and spicebox. This wine is pretty Tannic and intense right now. This dense treat needs another year to fully integrate. It represents another stellar Machete bottling by Orin Swift. Drink 2017-2026- 93
2014 Orin Swift 'Palermo' Cabernet- The wine is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec. This dense wine opens with black cherry, mocha, black cherry and roasted figs with hints of green bell pepper. There are flavors of blackberry preserves, cherry cough syrup, blueberry compote and tar. This is layered and delicious.This wine is absolutely sumptuous on the second day. Drink 2016-2025- 93
2014 Orin Swift 'Abstract' Red Wine- This wine begins with aromas of coffee grounds, boysenberry compote, milk chocolate and red bell pepper. There are dense flavors of mocha, blackberry pie, creosote and cassis. Plush and layered, this is another fantastic new release from this estate. Drink 2016-2026- 93
2013 Orin Swift ‘Abstract’ Red Wine- This is a rather alcoholic effort, given it weighs in at well over 15% alcohol, but in the glass it is surprisingly balanced. The wine is sourced from a host of regions including Napa, Mendocino, Sonoma, Amador and El Dorado counties. This has a dense hue and is aromatically intense. This wine is a full bodied blend of Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah. It has aromas of black cherry, anise, blackberry compote and tar. This leads to deep flavors of creme de cassis, blackberry, coffee and black raspberry. Absolutely delicious forward effort. Drink 2016-2023- 93