An elegant nose presents, with complex aromatics of ripe cherries and dried rose petals, a touch of white pepper and a hint of alpine forest. Balanced and integrated, the palate comprises of sweet strawberries, cranberries, and traces of rhubarb. The wine closes at length with a finish of toasted brioche, a dash of caramel and fresh raspberries.
It's long been official – Dave Phinney of Orin Swift is a phenomenon. Whether it's the throngs of people we see jammed in his Saint Helena tasting room all summer long, or the constant stream of great press about his projects – not just in Napa, but around the world – this guy is on a serious roll. The fire that he sparked with The Prisoner shows no sign of abating. Phinney's genius was simply to perfect and popularize something that already had deep roots in California wine: the "mixed blacks" wine of yore—sweet-fruited, dark as night, served in a whiskey tumbler. His wines are unapologetically ripe, hedonistic, and just plain delicious. Simple as that.
The 2017 Pinot Noir Slander aged ten months in 30% new French oak. Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with energetic kirsch, crushed raspberries and redcurrant notes with hints of sassafras, violets, dark chocolate and black pepper. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with red and black berry layers, framed by plush tannins and great freshness, finishing long and spicy. 8,800 cases produced.