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The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2007
The 2007 blends the lush berry flavors of Zinfandel, the power and concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon, the dark black fruit of Syrah, the intensity and structure of Petite Sirah, the flesh of Charbono, and a hint of Grenache - all combined for a decadent wine with great complexity.
We continue to receive an overwhelming amount of inquiries about "The Prisoner". Not just the wine, but the image on the label. The image is inspired by an original etching depicting a prisoner in chains Dave Phinney received as a gift from his mother and father (Orin and Swift).
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
"I came away from that experience with the unshakable belief that if you put your emphasis on the vineyard, what follows is much easier," he says. "The vineyard is everything."
Most of Phinney’s time is spent exploring vineyard sites, meeting with growers and selecting the fruit that will be vinified and blended into The Prisoner. His method for vineyard selection includes assessing the site, soil, varietal, grower and provenance, or the history, of the vineyard.
"Sometimes one of these aspects is enough, other times it's a combination of a few of these elements," he says. "With provenance, looks can be deceiving, so you have to trust in the track record of a vineyard as opposed to what you see. Occasionally you step into a vineyard and can't get to your phone fast enough to call the grower and lock up the grapes. Those experiences are one of a kind."
A picturesque Mediterranean nation with a rich wine culture dating back to ancient times, Greece has so much more to offer than just retsina. Between the mainland and the country’s many islands, a wealth of wine styles exist, made mostly from Greece’s plentiful indigenous varieties. Still suffering for centuries after Ottoman rule, the modern wine industry did not truly begin here until the late 20th century, after a mass influx of newly trained winemakers and investments in winemaking technology. The climate—generally hot Mediterranean—can vary a bit with latitude and elevation, and is often moderated by cool maritime breezes. Drought can be an issue during the long, dry summers, often necessitating irrigation.
Over 300 indigenous grapes have been identified throughout Greece, and though not all of them are suitable for wine production, future decades will likely see a significant revival of many of these native varieties. Assyrtiko, the crisp, saline variety of the island of Santorini, is one of the most important and popular white varieties, alongside Roditis, Robola, Moschofilero, and Malagousia. Muscat is also widely grown for both sweet and dry wines. Prominent red varieties include soft and fruity Agiorghitiko, native to Nemea; Macedonia’s savory, tannic Xinomavro; and Mavrodaphne, used commonly to produce a Port-like fortified wine in the Peloponnese.
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 create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. 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.