Lisa Perrotti-Brown (RobertParker.com)
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon (mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with splashes of Merlot and Malbec) opens with notions of crushed red currants, blackberries and mulberries with touches of Indian spices, sandalwood and menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a wonderfully spicy undercurrent with loads of red and black fruits and a chewy frame, finishing long and perfumed. 24,000 cases produced.
I was looking through National Geographic and I found this photo by Vincent Musi. He's been a regular contributor to them forever. It's a shot of a kind of mummified priest in a 16th-century catacomb in Palermo, Sicily. There is such a sense of power and dignity and reverence to the image, and I thought that's kind of how we think about great Cabernet - that we just really respect it. I think it makes a statement about the wine, which I like to call, "Separate among equals."
I'm proud that some of the same wine that goes into Mercury Head and Papillon goes into Palermo. They are not "kick-outs," we just have more that we need. Palmero could be considered our most approachable Cabernet and it's a true representation of Napa. It changes every year, but I get the great fruit from all over, usually Rutherford, Saint Helena, Atlas Peak, Coombsville and other places, too.
Dave Phinney (Winemaker)
Orin Swift Cellars are an incredibly exciting and creative winery to work with. In short, the brilliance of the wines, creativeness and unparalleled blending talents have built an incredible portfolio with minimum words and maximum impact. Every wine is carefully crafted from start to finish, including the state of art labels.
Dave Phinney (Winemaker) - "Like so many, I stumbled into the wine business. On a lark, I travelled to Florence, Italy to study abroad for a semester. While I was there I was exposed to, and fell in love with, wine. Back in Arizona I had been studying Political Science and History with a post-graduate plan to attend law school… but, after my time in Italy, the die was cast. I returned to the States, graduated from university, and four days later moved to the Napa Valley. I had sent my resume to fifty wineries in the Valley and only one replied: Robert Mondavi. I showed up to my temporary harvest position interview wearing a suit and tie. They literally laughed at me, gave me a very basic math exam and asked if I could pass a drug test. A few weeks later I was hired.
I spent the harvest of 1997 working the night shift – The only Anglo on an all Latino crew. When they realized I was there to work hard they took me in, gave me a nickname, and showed me the ropes. I loved it! But I quickly realized that if I was going to work this hard, eventually it would have to be for myself. The very next year I started Orin Swift. Orin is my father’s middle name and Swift is my mother’s maiden name. The first vintage in 1998 was less than spectacular. It was a tough harvest, and I bought fruit from the wrong part of a great vineyard. I learned first hand that, “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.” The truth is, when it comes to winemaking there are no silver bullets, no secrets. We as winemakers are only as good as our fruit source.
Our winemaking philosophy then was the same as it is today: find the best fruit from the best vineyards. Farm it right, harvest it right, bring it into the winery, and don’t screw it up. Thank you for reading my story and I hope you enjoy my wines."
California is the largest and most important wine region in the US – in fact, if California were a separate country it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer! California stretches along the west coast of the USA meaning that soils and climates vary enormously depending on the area’s altitude, latitude and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Generally the cooler regions closer to the coast are most suited to the growing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, whilst further inland (where the climate is much hotter) some of California’s most famous Cabernet Sauvignon wines are grown. The famous Ridge Estate is located here and produces some of the best and most sought after wines in California. If you enjoy Chardonnay, we highly recommend you take a look at Liquid Farm Winery, whose Chardonnay’s (we believe!) rival those of Burgundy.
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
For weightier style reds we recommend the Zalto Bordeaux glass, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wines depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhone style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay as well, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
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