The 2014 Orin Swift Papillon earned 94 points from Robert Parker, who called it a “full-bodied, unctuously textured, deep, rich pure wine to drink over the next 10-15+ years.” Phinney — the founder and winemaker of Orin Swift and the original creator of “The Prisoner” — is one of the great winemaking talents of our time. Parker has raved of Phinney’s talents, saying, “Orin Swift is the brainchild of a brilliant young man by the name of Dave Phinney. His Midas touch with grapes from seemingly anywhere in the world, is unusual, but the brilliance of the wines, his creativeness and unparalleled blending talents have built an incredible portfolio right out of the gate.” We agree with Parker who goes on to say, “Readers looking for personality filled wines of considerable character and complexity need to check out the Orin Swift offerings.” Phinney remains entirely hands on at Orin Swift, making these wines from beginning to end and on a daily basis. In the words of the venerable Parker: “If you are like me and believe that a wine is to be judged on just how delicious it is, you will be as impressed as I have been with the Orin Swift products.” Do not miss out on this one.
The story of Orin Swift Cellars and its founder David Swift Phinney — author of numerous Wine Spectator “Top 100” wines — begins with a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Purportedly over a plate of pasta in a Florentine trattoria, Phinney struck up a conversation with a friend who was from California, and whose family was in the wine business. By the time Dave mopped up the last of the olive oil and Reggiano, he had decided on wine as a career path.
Good thing he did. In addition to his Spectator Top 100 placements, he’s been praised over and over by Robert Parker, who called Phinney “one of the more creative young minds in all of the world’s winedom. He is doing things that are far beyond his modest age and deserves to be commended for the brilliant individuality/singularity of all of his efforts.” Nearly 20 years since founding Orin Swift, and 8 years since selling “The Prisoner,” those efforts and the groundwork Phinney laid, continue to chart the course for a bevy of utterly delicious, complex and soul-pleasing wines by Phinney himself.