Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weekly Wine Review - Red Blend - 2009 Orin Swift The Prisoner


The story of Orin Swift Cellars is one that is motivational to me. While I am sure the endeavor was based upon the availability of serious bank - the story starts in 1995 when David Phinney went to study for a semester in Florence, Italy where he discovered a love for wine. After graduating college he got a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary vineyard worker during the harvest. Then.... in 1998 he opened Orin Swift Cellars. Not the typical from harvest to winemaker story - but I do understand the passion that drove the founding of this winery.  Today we'll be trying the 2009 The Prisoner red blend.


Wine: 2009 Orin Swift The Prisoner
Region: Napa Valley, CA
Grape Varieties: Red Blend (Red Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah)
Obtained from: Winery
Price: $35.00
Wino4Life Category: Weekend Wine
Aeration before tasting: Just a swirl or two, no special aeration.

Cork Condition: Natural Cork - no defects or issues.
Appearance: Wine is deep, dark purple with a pinkish rim.
Aroma: Strong red fruits like raspberry and cherry with a bit of blackberry as well.  Some nice pepper aroma from the Zinfandel and a hint of vanilla as well.
Taste: Nice and fruity, with some tannins - but not as big as I expected. A pleasant wine overall, but something tasted just a bit off. Not a major problem but it may be tasting a bit off balance from the high alcohol level (comes in at a whopping 15.2%).

The Grade: I give this one a B-. I just can't get past the unbalanced taste - and for nearly $40 a bottle there are droves of red blends out there with more bang for you buck. Keep an eye out for Orin Swift wines though - I believe the issues with this 2009 are more of an exception for the winery than a rule.

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