Orin Swift Cellars
|Course||Pairing / Description||Wine|
|Hors D' Oeuvres||
Tarragon Whipped Goat Cheese & Speck Ham Canape (Toasted Pine Nuts and Sea Salt Toasted Pita Round)
Citrus Glazed Chicken & Vegetable Brochettes (Cilantro and Orange-Mustard Remoulade)
Orin Swift’s first foray into Sauvignon Blanc outside of the Napa Valley includes fruit sourced largely from Laguna Ranch in the Russian River Valley. The cooler climate brings out a different expression of the varietal - slightly more nervy and less ripe - with lots of acidity and texture. Similar Sauvignon Blanc from the nearby Laguna North vineyard and 127 year old Semillon vines from the Monte Rosso vineyard complete the blend. Bringing Orin Swift style to the coast, they put together a wine that is different, yet still close to home, their signature at every sip. Blank Stare is 95% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Semillon. It is tight at first, then generous on the nose. The wine bursts with classic aromas of white peach, pear and freshly cut grass as well as stone, butterscotch and clove. Shards of minerality, white fig and lemon zest dominate the palate, with beams of acidity following through the extensive finish.
|Orin Swift Blank Stare 2016
Classic She-Crab Soup (Creamy Crab Broth with Lump Crab, Parsley and Crispy Leeks)
The vintage mannequins had style and personality, contrary to their contemporary descendants. But like the mannequins on the label, many of Orin Swift’s Chardonnay vineyards have their own set of unique characteristics - the soil, the rickety old gate or even the dove hunters in the adjacent field. From the tops of the Stagecoach Vineyard to the cool Sonoma Carneros, they let Chardonnay grapes hang until they turn golden-brown and after being carefully picked, the fruit is barrel fermented in a mix of new and seasoned French oak. No two resulting lots ever smell or taste the same, but when blended together, they create something never seen before - much like the collection of mannequins on the bottle. Mannequin’s nose opens with rich aromatics of Meyer lemon, honeydew, butterscotch and honeysuckle, with accents of jasmine, white pepper and fennel pollen. A massive palate consists of ripe white peach and a bold Werther’s Original entry and a layered mid-palate of nectarines, pineapple and honey. A touch of green apple and wet stone culminate in a concise crème brule finish.
|Orin Swift Mannequin 2014
Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt Grilled Rare Ahi Tuna (Blackberry-Cherry and Lavender Gastrique and Spicy Micro Arugula)
A bold representation of the signature grape varietal of the Napa Valley, Palermo is a portrayal of the patchwork of vineyards across the region. With fruit sourced from the warmer Calistoga and St. Helena AVAs down to the cooler AVAs of Coombsville and Oak Knoll, across to the unique microclimates of Pope Valley and Atlas Peak and finally to the famous soils of Rutherford and Oakville, this truly is the Napa Valley in a bottle. Working in the vineyards to meet Orin Swift’s strict quality standards, they were able to produce a wine that is both classically Cabernet, while staying true to the Orin Swift ethos. The 2015 Palermo is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Malbec. A dark garnet hue sits in the glass with immediate aromas of ripe cassis and blackberry. Hints of cocoa, new oak and fir complement the juicy fruit mélange. A full-bodied entry is succeeded by a mid-palate of dark fruits and a smooth, integrated minerality. The tannins are well developed, allowing the wine to finish with length.
|Orin Swift Palermo 2015
Rosemary & Wine Braised Beef Short Rib (Dauphinoise Potatoes, Tarragon Béarnaise, Natural Pan Jus and Grilled Asparagus With Piquillo Pepper Pesto)
The 2016 vintage was incredibly gracious to Abstract, despite another year of drought. A seamless blend of mainly Grenache, with Petite Sirah and Syrah, this iteration is dense, concentrated and packed full of ripe red and dark fruits. For this vintage, Orin Swift incorporated more select vineyards from across Northern California and continued to work with growers to meet their high viticultural standards. Like all of Orin Swift’s sources, owner/winemaker, Dave Phinney is out there at the crack of dawn, tasting the grapes and calling the picks. With Abstract, immediate popping aromatics of juicy red and dark fruits - raspberries, cranberries, dark plums and pluots - and a hint of deep earthiness are present in the glass. On the palate, the wine is big and massive yet incredibly smooth with similar fruits and a touch of sweet cream. With a luscious and velvety mouthfeel, the wine finishes with lingering ripe black plum and fades softly and slowly. Dave Phinney says: “This might be my favorite one we’ve made.”
|Orin Swift Abstract 2016
|Cheese & Macaron Course||
5 Counties Cheddar, Maytag Blue Cheese & Roasted Hazelnuts (Dark Chocolate Macarons, Sticky Raisins and Assorted Crackers)
On a journey, a machete exists to serve a specific purpose: to cut, slash and forge a path through the thicket. In many ways, Machete has done similarly - albeit symbolically. Orin Swift forged ahead and created a blend that showcases Petite Sirah as multi-dimensional - both brawny and delicate at the same time. They also weren’t going to restrict themselves by appellation constraints and focused on making the best possible Petite Sirah-based blend (with Syrah and Grenache) from California. They used quality individual wine lots to create a seamless blend with both finesse and power, ultimately, creating a wine that embodies the spirit and energy of Orin Swift. Machete is violet ink in the glass, a nose of black plums, cassis, and cacao engage. The robust entry consists of a progressing palate of blackberry and boysenberry compote, a reduction of dark plum and ripe figs, and pure Amarena cherry. Flashes of vanilla and traces of minerality evolve into chalky tannins and a smooth lingering finish.
|Orin Swift Machete 2015
[Our special "Chip Wine" presentation for this event.] All Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Orin Swift picks is treated in the cellar as a Mercury Head candidate. Yet, year after year, a few lots from the Rutherford, St. Helena and Atlas Peak AVAs always outshine the rest in terms of complexity, structure and overall quality. Comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Morisoli vineyard in Rutherford, the Lewelling, Milat and Taplin vineyards in St. Helena and the prestigious Stagecoach vineyard and the nearby Edcora property on Atlas Peak, this vintage of Mercury Head brings together prized microclimates of the Napa Valley. Mercury Head opens with a nose brimming of ripe boysenberry and cassis, complimented by hints of cigar box, fir and graphite. Full-bodied on entry, the luscious palate is full of ripe cherry and a touch of blackberry with elegant traces of sage. It closes with a satiating finish that is long and textured, supported by ample red berries and soft, dusty tannins.
|Orin Swift Mercury Head 2015