People often ask about Orin Swift when they are in the store, so with the release of the 2013 Machete California Red we thought this might be a good time to clear up any confusion about changes made to this iconic brand over the last few years.
The history is this: A gentleman named David Phinney started a wine company in 1998 called Orin Swift (not a person), Orin being his father's middle name and Swift being his mother's maiden name. He started out by making a little wine you may have heard of, The Prisoner. In the years that followed, Mr. Phinney released other Orin Swift wines: Abstract, Saldo, Palermo, Cuttings, Mercurey Head, Blindfold, Veladora, etc..., some only released in certain vintages. In 2009, some of the Orin Swift brands were sold to a new company called 'The Prisoner Wine Company'.
So what's the story now? The Prisoner Wine Company now produces 5 wines, under the guidance of winemaker Jen Beloz: The Prisoner, Saldo, Blindfold, Cuttings, and Thorn. No David Phinney, no Orin Swift (not a person).
Mr. Phinney still owns Orin Swift Cellars and produces a bevy of wines, including Abstract, Palermo, Mannequin, Papillon, and, of course, today's featured wine, Machete.
The 2013 Machete is big, dark, and brooding, with aromas of mountain fruits and floral notes. The palate has concentrated berry, black cherry, and mocha flavors with notes of earth and bramble, and finishes soft and lush with supple tannins and a slight minerality. There are 12 different labels for each vintage of Machete, so you never know which wine you might get, which adds a fun twist.
Machete is available right now in our wine department for $49.99/bottle, but supplies are limited.
Since we are talking about David Phinney, it is at least worth a mention that he makes some other great wines in conjunction with growers from around the world. The Locations wines (E, F, I, AR, CA) are definitely worth a try if you like Mr. Phinney's style of winemaking.