Unlike our typical wine tastings, where we analyze a single wine from a given winery, we were fortunate enough to visit Cru Wine Bar when they were offering a wine flight from Orin Swift. It was a fun opportunity to evaluate and assess two different wines from a specific winery. Opposed to your typical wine flight offerings at wine bars, sampling of a single winery allowed for incorporation of different varietals into the wine flight. Thus, we will provide our overall impression of the following wines offered from Orin Swift:
“Blank Stare” Sauvignon Blanc ’16 Russian River Valley, California
Visual: The wine was surprisingly clear, almost resembling water. Typically, Sauvignon Blanc have characteristics with a faint lime green hue or hints of yellow.
Nose: The wine was consistent with previous Sauvignon Blancs we’ve tried in the past – completely full of citrus notes. Pears, limes, lemons are completely forward on the nose of this wine.
Taste: It’s crisp and fresh, with a taste reminiscent of the nose of the wine. It was very light and refreshing – a perfect start to the tasting.
Overall, the wine was good – it would be a great wine for a warm spring or summer day – perfect for grilling chicken or picnics.
“Abstract” [Red Blend] ’16 California (Grenache, Syrah, Petite Sirah)
Visual: This wine was beautiful to look at – it had a ruby-to-purplish hue in nature which was consistent throughout when looked at against a white background. It didn’t appear to be a “heavy” wine as it had a translucent nature, capable of partially seeing through the wine. The legs were clear and given the rate of fall we anticipated the alcohol content to be around 14.5%.
Nose: Full of dark fruit, black cherries, blueberries, vanilla, and hints of spice. It almost had a Malbec – jammy quite quality to the wine as well. It wasn’t as powerful as a California cabernet, demonstrating the blended qualities of the wine. It was very pleasant on the nose, not overpowering.
Taste: The wine had a smoky-like texture that wasn’t detected on the nose in addition to the dark fruit. There were black berries, black cherries, and a bountiful aroma of vanilla. There was also a sweetness or sugar quality to the wine which doesn’t typically present in full-bodied wine. We though the wine was medium bodied in nature. It was a well rounded wine with moderate tannins that didn’t overpower.
– “Palermo” Cabernet Sauvignon ’16 Napa Valley, California
Visual: Darker in nature than the last wine – suggesting it was a “darker” wine varietal. It was dark purple, almost pushing garnet color with more pronounced wine legs.
Nose: The wine was very aromatic, with bold notes of black cherries, plum, blackberry and cassis. There were hints of cocoa with a pleasant minerality quality infused.
Taste: The taste of the wine was more complex and full-bodied when compared to the “Palermo”. The complexity of the wine was complemented by the moderate tannins within. It was flavorful, with additional espresso, an cocoa notes. Definitely a wine that will pair well with grilled red meats. The Cabernet Sauvignon clearly came through on this wine – definitely a “top-notch” California Cab.
Our Overall Impression
• The Orin Swift wine pairing was very desirable. The reds were the highlight of the pairing with their unique and distinctive flavor profiles.
• The Sauvignon Blanc was light, crisp and full of citrus – while not our favorite white wine varietal it was definitely a nice wine to further our enjoyment of white wines.
• The Abstract Red Blend was a great blend of 3 beautiful varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Petite Sirah. One of the better blends that we have tried and definitely worth trying.
• The Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon was the winner in this Orin Swift wine flight. It was bold, complex and full of flavor. Reminiscent of a world-class Napa Cabernet, definitely worth having a bottle in your cellar.
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