Powerful aromatics escape the glass with rich notes of ripe blackcurrant, blackberry, peppercorn and a touch of chaparral supported by a frame of sweet oak. Intensely layered and decadent on entry, the wine exudes characteristics of black plum, boysenberry, kirsch and dark chocolate with a silky soft yet weighty texture. A prolonged finish of Provençal lavender, fig leaf and ripe currants close out the wine.
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.
Fruit fans will dig this for its open and inviting display of açaí berry, plum sauce and warmed cassis aromas and flavors, all laced with melted black licorice and given a light mocha cloak on the broad, polished finish. A subtle savory tobacco element in the background adds a counterpoint, but this is aimed squarely at the hedonist crowd. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2025. 21,039 cases made.
A blend of all five Bordeaux varieties, the 2019 Papillon Red Wine is a full-bodied, open-knit effort marked by pronounced notes of cedar, mocha and black cherries. Soft across the mid-palate, it turns crisper on the juicy, mouthwatering finish, but it manages to nicely conceal its considerable alcohol content (labeled at 16.1%).