Orin Swift Papillon 2005
This bottle is from the inaugural vintage for Orin Swift’s Bordeaux style blend Papillon. Orin Swift, for anyone hiding from the juice of the California wine industry, is the project of David Phinney, who is in my opinion perhaps one of the top winemakers in California right now. I know there are many other great candidates, including Manfred Frankl of Sine Qua Non or Randy Dunn of Dunn Vineyards, but Phinney has not only managed Orin Swift amongst a host of other projects, but has kept the prices decidedly reasonable for a winery that has been releasing nothing but very high scoring wines adored by many.
While this wine is more expensive than the famous “Prisoner” zinfandel blend, it also required a lot more oak treatment, which always brings more expense. Nonetheless, this still beats out many other Napa Bordeaux style blends at the same price point.
The colour was a very deep and extracted purple, which led into an expressive nose of chocolate, cassis, cedar, blackberry and a touch of heat. The palate was texturally brilliant and silky, and filled with flavours like cedar, blackberry, dark plum and cherry fruit, and chocolate. Like the Prisoner, this is a wine that is just downright tasty, and it is this extreme tastiness that makes this stand out and hold just enough personality to distinguish it from the pack – not to mention it has a kickass label. This is a great effort and I will definitely be seeking out future vintages.
$70 at BCLDB (I think around $50USD)