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Orin Swift

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A paradox can catch you off guard. A powerful punch and a delicate touch – this Petite Sirah-based blend manages to be both. And the labels? Iconic, but never the same. With fruit sourced from all over the state, Machete is a culmination of bird-dogging some of the best Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Syrah vineyards in California. Double-blind tasted to assure the highest quality fruit, making the cut isn’t easy. Tasting Notes: Pure inky garnet in the glass, the aromatics of plum compote, wild blackberries, crushed gravel, peanut brittle, and Tahitian vanilla emanate. Massive on the entry, the mid-palate is diverse with flavors of dark plums, black pepper, Amarena cherries, slow-roasted Moroccan lamb and a marbled leather texture. Rich, enveloping, and vivacious, the wine finishes with perpetuating energy and length—not to mention the satisfying tannins that rouse a desire for more.

Staying humble and letting the grapes do the talking is how we get better at winemaking every vintage. Pinot Noir requires even more humility, especially in the vineyards—when the grapes are ready, they’re ready. Requiring a gentler approach with punchdowns rather than pumpovers, Pinot Noir expresses itself when it is least manipulated. Sourced primarily from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA on the Central Coast, along with prominent vineyards across the state, such as the Annapolis Ridge Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast and the Del Rio Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, Slander is a union of California Pinot Noir made with the Orin Swift signature style. Emerging from the bottle with a glowing cardinal hue, it opens with a mouthwatering nose of bright strawberry and Rainier cherry with shades of milk chocolate, passion fruit and pink guava. The palate is refined, incredibly balanced and energetic throughout with ripples of acidity; notes of cranberry, sweet cherry pie, sour plum, black mission fig, graham cracker and chocolate covered almond. The wine closes with a mediating acidity and an almost unnoticeable dash of oak tannin.

Every now and then, you come across a wine that has the gravity to pull you in. One moment you’re enjoying a great time with friends, the next you’re stuck nose deep in the glass—time stands still, your face now caught in a blank stare. This is Blank Stare. The grapes are sourced primarily from the Laguna Ranch, MacMurray, and Two Rock Vineyards, all located in the Russian River appellation of Sonoma County. Tasting Notes: Glowing in the glass, the aromatics concentrate with notes of lemongrass, fresh-cut grass and hints of lavender, cream and jasmine. On the palate, the entry is all acidity but with a serious mid-palate—lively flavors of kiwi, lime and intriguing minerality. The finish is bright and youthful with a slight Meyer lemon rind closing out the wine.

Mercury Head is our physical manifestation of history, land and art in a bottle of wine. Each dime has lived through at least 76 years of history while winemaking in the Napa Valley has existed longer. This wine brings those together in a unique way—a synthesis à la Orin Swift. We are extremely fortunate and lucky to have access to vineyards of excellent pedigree . This vintage of Mercury Head is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stagecoach, Emerson Day and Morisoli vineyards with a small percentage from the historic Monte Rosso vineyard overlooking Sonoma Valley that was too good to leave out. Together, they combine to create a wine of intensity , nuance and complexity , worthy of our flagship wine. WINEMAKER’S NOTES: The upfront aromatics of the wine transports one to the Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards listed above during harvest; notes of ripe and crunchy blackcurrant means it’s almost time to pick. The nose of the 2019 Mercury Head has a concentrated dose of that aroma along with some redcurrant, fresh thyme, sandalwood and garrigue. Profound, yet classic, the palate expresses blackberry and raspberry preserves, a touch of rhubarb and toffee with some black tea and licorice accents . A final hint of chocolate covered espresso bean and ultra-soft tannins frames the extensive finish.

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Working with Zinfandel requires using the Goldilocks Principle: Pick it too early and you end up with a stemmy wine. Pick it too late and you risk a stuck fermentation. Pick it just right... well, what do you think? 2019 marks the third release of our eight-part passion play known as 8 Years in the Desert. As we meander through the coming years and remaining vintages, the wine, as well as the labels on the bottle, will continue to evolve. If we do our jobs right, the wine should only get better.  The labels have a bit more of a pre-ordained nature — they’re all born from the original eight featured in the limited edition. Each vintage will revisit the original labels in sequential order. Some of you know them all, some of you only know label #1. Some will like what comes next, some will hate it. But suffice to say they are all cut from a similar cloth.  As with the previous four vintages, our 2019 blend combines the heart and body of Zinfandel with the nuance and complexity of Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Grenache. Sourced from quality vineyards like Monte Rosso, Bismark, Korte, and Frei Ranch, 8 Years in the Desert uses only our favorite lots of each grape. Double-blind tasted and aged over a ten-month period, we are very proud of our 2019 vintage and hope you enjoy it now and for many years to come. Tasting Notes: Evolving aromatics present themselves first with black and white pepper, then a ripe fruit core of brambly raspberry and sweet persimmon, finishing with savory notes of allspice, clove and fig leaf. Boisterous yet elegant on entry, the wine shows its plush layers with distinctive strawberry preserves, blackberry and raspberry pie topped with fresh crème. Round, ripe tannins close the palate menacingly, leaving one with a desperate thirst for more.

The Queen of Grapes – Chardonnay – is the most widely planted grape in California. In Mannequin we’ve made the most of California’s diverse wine regions—from the cool Sonoma Coast to the Russian River Valley, the mountains of Atlas Peak down to the Santa Lucia Highlands—with all the fruit from AVA-designated vineyards. Tasting Notes: Pale gold in the glass, opulent aromatics of Meyer lemon, vanilla crème, and sweet oak are complemented by subtle notes of jasmine, gardenias, and caramel. The layered palate is replete with ripe stone fruit, melon, lemon curd, and hints of roasted almond, grapefruit pith and white pepper. The finish is long and rich with a tapering young coconut.

An abstract is a summary of something larger – easy to comprehend, but not without crucial details. Abstract is just that – an easy to swallow encapsulation of what we do here at Orin Swift. All the details are here – grapes from quality vineyards across California, wrapped in a piece of art by founder Dave Phinney. Often a starting point, sometimes a reminder, Abstract is archetypal of what Orin Swift puts in – and on – our bottles. Tasting Notes: Aromatics with gravity, the wine pulls you in with notes of blueberry, black fig, bloodied strawberry, and hints of musk and rhubarb. Bold on the entry, the palate exudes rich notes of dark plum and raspberry with a slight chalky texture. The wine transitions effortlessly to a finish of black cherry, sweet licorice and some quick-drying tannins.
Orin Swift Papillon 750ML 2018

A Bordeaux-style red wine from the Napa Valley—comprised of all five varietals—is hard to find. That’s because it’s hard to make.  We’ve been lucky to source quality fruit from long-time growers on both the valley floor and surrounding hillsides; and while finding Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec can be difficult, this wine is proof that it’s worth it. Papillion captures the Orin Swift style—accessible, massive, and memorable—and results with a bottle that always seems empty too soon. Tasting Notes: Powerful aromatics escape the glass with rich notes of ripe black currant, peppercorn, blackberry, and a touch of chaparral supported by a frame of sweet oak. Intensely layered and decadent palate on entry, the wine exudes characteristics of black plum, boysenberry, kirsch, and dark chocolate, with a silky-soft yet weighty texture. A prolonged finish of Provençal lavender, fig leaf, and ripe currants close out the wine.

Year in, year out, our goal is to produce wines of resounding quality. This year, we produced a Cabernet Sauvignon that represents the best of the Napa Valley region. Comprised of fruit from both valley floor and mountain range, Palermo brings the entire region to your glass—wherever that may be. Tasting Notes: A seamless assortment of classic Napa Cabernet aromas exude from the glass—cassis, black cherries, chaparral, and a touch of intriguing butterscotch. On the palate, the wine is tastefully expressive with ripe raspberry, crème caramel, bay leaf, and red and black currant. Carrying its own weight through the finish, the wine’s prominent tannins will soften over time.
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