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Orin Swift Cellars 8 Years in the Desert 1 2017

Other Red Blends from California
  • WW93
  • RP93
15.5% ABV
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4.2 39 Ratings
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4.2 39 Ratings
15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Heady aromas of brambly raspberry, black fig, and peppercorn dominate; time in the 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.

Blend: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah

Critical Acclaim

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WW 93
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: I have known Dave Phinney for more than a decade or so, and from my viewpoint, he is one of most iconoclastic artists in the wine business. He produces wines like few others, and his labels are amongst some of the most creative in the industry. The 2017 8 Years in the Desert is a delectable amalgamation of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Syrah. TASTING NOTES: This wine is powerful, yet does not dominate the palate. Its aromas and flavors of mineral, red fruit, black fruit, and oak stay rich and round on the palate. Pair these flavors with an organic, de-constructed hamburger accented with red onions, jalapeño peppers, satiny-ripe avocados, and red leaf lettuce. (Tasted: September 25, 2018, San Francisco, CA USA)
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache, aged eight months in 30% new French oak, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Red Blend 8 Years in the Desert bursts forth with blackberry pie, warm cassis, licorice and raspberry pie with touches of tree bark, garrigue and potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and jam-packed with opulent berry preserves and exotic spice layers, it has a velvety texture and wonderful freshness, finishing very long.
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Orin Swift Cellars

Orin Swift Cellars

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Orin Swift Cellars, California
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The history of Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when on a lark, David Swift Phinney took a friend up on an offer and went to Florence, Italy to spend a semester “studying”. During that time, he was introduced to wine, how it was made, and got hooked. A few more years of university led to graduation and eventually a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary harvest worker. Deciding that if he was going to work this hard, it would eventually have to be for himself, so in 1998 he founded Orin Swift Cellars; Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his mother’s maiden name. With two tons of zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and grew the company into a multinational brand that now includes 300 acres of vineyards in the Southwest of France. This international ambition has led to projects in Spain, Italy, Corsica, Argentina and other locations around the globe.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

WWH151349_2017 Item# 508395