17 Points - Richard Hemming (JancisRobinson.com)
"Wonderfully rich nose with black cherry, tea leaves, dried herbs and liquorice. Packs a serious punch but the aromatic complexity matches the structural intensity. Rich, ripe and potent."
The Label I travel internationally and spend a lot of time in airports, so I'll buy about 10 magazines from whatever country I'm in. For Abstract, I was inspired by a photo of a collage that an Italian designer had tacked up in his living room, and for the next three years, I spent time on planes ripping out images from magazines--just things I liked. When I had enough great images, I pieced them together. It was not easy at all. It took about two weeks. I would come into the office at night, working on a big table. After the third day, we closed off that part of the office for fear that someone would open a door and a gust would blow everything apart. Every night I'd take a picture as a safety measure. When it was done, we got on a big ladder and shot it. That was the only easy part.
I like the complexity we get by using fruits from different geographical locations. Abstract is a Grenache-based blend with Syrah and Petit Sirah and it represents all of California - all of the pieces, climates and features that tell a story of the state. I start with over 100 different lots of wine, searching for the right components of the blend. Individually, they're good wines, but together, they tell a full, complex story, like a collage.
Dave Phinney (Winemaker)
Wonderfully rich nose with black cherry, tea leaves, dried herbs and liquorice. Packs a serious punch but the aromatic complexity matches the structural intensity. Rich, ripe and potent.
Richard Hemming (JancisRobinson.com)
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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