David Phinney set up Orin Swift, one of California’s most interesting new wave wineries, and has been producing wine in a completely unique style.
Phinney purchases grapes from over 100 vineyard sites throughout California for his wines, which are powerful in colour, body, and character, with a focus on Rhône-style blends, Napa Cabernets, and old vine Grenache.
A variety of grapes, including lesser-known varietals like Charbono, are used to make many of the wines. Phinney’s approach to making wine is straightforward: choose the nicest grapes he can find, let them hang until they are completely mature, and then express their character: the bolder – the better.
Orin Swift Palermo is a super-concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon. Classic Napa Cabernet aromatics are displayed in this red, including juicy cassis, raspberry, and graphite. Red licorice, crisp fennel, and mixed fruit compote followed on the palate. The wine is finished with integrated but noticeable tannins and a hint of lingering black tea. A great wine for those who like their wines weighty and powerful.
Food pairing suggestion: Sticky ribs.
Did you know? The scary image of a mummified priest with a red cape and a black hat is known as a “biretta,” photographed by National Geographic photographer Vincent J. Musi in a 16th-century catacomb in Palermo, Sicily. It now serves as Phinney’s most eerie label, dressing bottles of his Napa Valley red blend Palermo.
The striking photograph captures Phinney’s admiration for Cabernet Sauvignon. “The image exudes such a sense of strength and grandeur, which is how we imagine great Cabernet.”