A familiar nose of pedigree, the wine opens with aromatics of ripe raspberry, blackcurrant, cigar box and a hint of fresh sandalwood shavings and Herbs de Provence—mysteriously intriguing at first but evolving into a thoroughbred with time and air. Dense and layered on the palate, an immediate note of mixed berry strudel topped with fresh cream, fresh black raspberry and soft tannins akin to baking chocolate transition to a finish of both nuance and concentration. Still young, the wine will continue to evolve gracefully while retaining its luscious quality and classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon nature.
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 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Mercury Head has a deep garnet-purple color and needs a little swirling to unlock classic notes of ripe blackcurrants, warm plums and cedar chest with hints of wild sage, violets, Sichuan pepper and fallen leaves. The full-bodied palate has firm and grainy tannins with a lively backbone and tightly knit black fruits, finishing long and savory. 6,717 cases were made.