Orin Swift Papillon 2018
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot
A neon indigo pours into the glass and sits with a dark garnet core and a lucid cardinal tint. A boisterous nose escapes the glass with aromatics of ripe boysenberry, kirsch, mixed dark berry pie, California Coastal sagebrush and chaparral. Delectable and plush on the palate, notes of blackberry and sweet black licorice culminate in a finish of dusty tannins and ripe black plum.
The wines of Dave Phinney and Orin-Swift Cellars capture the imagination in a way unlike almost any we know of. It all starts with some of the most intriguing and compelling labels and packaging in the business. These never fail to entice you in as to what lurks beneath the cork! From the now infamous and slightly macabre “Prisoner” (a brand no longer owned by Dave, though he remains as consultant) to the stark black and white photograph of rough-hewn fingers in his “Papillon”, Phinney, who designs and art directs all of his labels with the help of some historic artists and brilliant modern-day photographers (namely Greg Gorman), seeks to create a relationship between consumer and product that is indelible yet still full of mystery with each successive release. The wines themselves of course deliver on their promise as well. They are unapologetically full-flavored and intense, yet with a backbone of structure that holds it all in place. Dave is not afraid to mix vineyards, varietals and even appellations to create the desired alchemy for each and every wine. He is ultra strict with his selection, however, and will always de-classify a wine or even skip a release entirely if it is not up to his standards.