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.
**Available for delivery February 2020**
100 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown (RobertParker.com) “The 2016 IX Proprietary Red Estate is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple, it comes strutting out of the glass with flamboyant Black Forest cake, blueberry compote and plum pudding notions plus hints of spice cake, unsmoked cigars, menthol, licorice and dusty soil and accented by wafts of tar and black tea. The palate is full-bodied yet incredibly poised and vibrant with amazing freshness and very fine-grained, very firm tannins. It possesses the most provocative earthy sparks, providing arresting depth to the very long, beautifully perfumed finish. Stunning”.
**Available for delivery February 2020**
100 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Lastly, the 2016 Syrah IX Estate reminds me of the otherworldly 2010 and is as profound as Syrah gets. Tasting like Guigal’s Côte Rôtie La Mouline (maybe on steroids) with its huge notes of bacon fat, spring flowers, blue fruits, barbecued meats, and incense, it’s full-bodied and massive yet also thrillingly pure, seamless, elegant, and weightless. It’s certainly approachable today yet is going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for two decades.
100 points -James Suckling "Super aromas of blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries. Hints of fresh herbs and tobacco. Iron and ink. Full-bodied, very tight and powerful, yet not too heavy. Lightly chewy and polished. So much nerve and intensity. Super length and depth. Drink after 2025, but a joy to taste now."
99 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown "The 2016 Proprietary Red is blended of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 18% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it emits an incredible array of seductive floral notes—violets, lavender and rose hip tea—with a core of warm cassis, redcurrant jelly, dark chocolate, cigar box, tapenade and crushed rocks plus hints of bay leaves, beef drippings and yeast extract. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with vivacious black fruit sparked by red fruit, herbal and mineral accents. It is framed with a rock-solid line of firm, grainy, super ripe tannins and finishes with fantastic fragrance and freshness. Wow"
Lisa Perrotti-Brown "Dark garnet with a lucid rim, the wine exhibits aromas of briar fruit, ripe blackberry and dark plum with a tinge of minerality and charred meat. Brawny on the entry, it has an equally big mid-palate with complex flavors of ripe brambly fruit, a touch of earth and notes of espresso bean. Still massive through to the finish with soft drying tannins, the unique varietal characteristics of the blend clearly reveal themselves over time."
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.