Bright ruby in the glass, the aromatics concentrate—cherries, raspberries, dried rose petals, a touch of sweet oak and a hint of forest floor. The entry is silky with a classic Pinot Noir palate: loads of ripe red fruit, savory undertones and a principled backbone of acidity. Balanced, lean and complex, the wine finishes softly at length.
Orin Swift 8 Years in the Desert 2017 displays 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.
Dave Phinney (Winemaker) - It’s hard to believe that this fall will be my twenty first harvest in the Napa Valley. Some of those vintages I remember fondly, others I’d like to forget. What may be harder to believe is that this harvest also marks the twentieth year that Orin Swift has been in business. Twenty years. It makes me feel old. But I love it, maybe now more than ever. As many of you know, the first commercial wine I made for Orin Swift was Zinfandel. But none of you have ever tried it. None of you have tried it because it was never bottled. I sold it on the bulk market. I would argue that Zinfandel may be the most difficult varietal to tame. But when you get it right it rewards you like no other. If winemaking is a series of challenges Zinfandel has them all in spades. So, in 2009 I took a break from Zinfandel and its challenges. It would end up being an eight-year break. Eight years in the desert. It was never if but when would we make Zinfandel again. That when is now.
So, with no further ado, we proudly give you 8 Years in the Desert. A blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and small percentages of other red varietals.
Pale yellow with a chartreuse tint, the wine opens with bright aromatics of lime zest, lemon, green apple and a touch of honey. The entry is refreshing with ripe pineapple and grapefruit, framed by a nervy backbone of satiating acidity. A mid-palate of white peach and a hint of pith melds seamlessly into a long, energetic finish of wet stone and key lime.
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.