The Orin Swift journey started with Zinfandel, the varietal that would launch winemaker Dave Phinney onto the world stage in a big way. Today, when we think complex, drinkable Zin, those edgy, artsy Orin Swift labels are always front of mind. From another excellent growing season in California comes this boisterous yet elegant wine with plush layers of strawberry preserves, stewed plums, raspberry pie and round, ripe tannins. The long, earthy finish will leave you thirsty for more, so make sure your oasis is fully stocked.
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.
Medium garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Zinfandel Blend 8 Years in the Desert delivers notions of stewed plums, baked raspberries and fruitcake with hints of powdered cinnamon, clove oil, tree bark, hoisin and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is chock-full of ripe, spicy black and red fruits, supported by chewy tannins and tons of freshness, finishing long and earthy.