Orin Swift Locations I 2

The Non-Vintage Locations I-2 Italian Red Wine (also all 2012 fruit, but it can’t be called that because of the blend) is composed of Nero D’Avola and Negroamaro from Puglia, Barbera from Piedmont, and a small percentage of Sangiovese from Tuscany. It receives vinification in large oak and spends ten months in barrel prior to bottling. It displays more acidity than the French cuvee, along with notes of wild herbs, licorice, tomato skins, black olives, red and black currants, cherries, barbecue spice and burning embers. This serious, medium to full-bodied, tasty, distinctive wine can be consumed over the next several years. I reviewed these Locations offerings from Dave Phinney of Orin-Swift Cellars last year, who is going against all conventional wisdom of vineyard and vintage dating wines. Terroirists will claim the devil has possessed Phinney, as his offerings from France, Italy and Spain are all blends from different sectors of each country. If you judge wines on how they taste and the degree of pleasure they offer, they are all incredible efforts. The three new cuvees I tasted are among the finest wine values one could hope to find. Moreover, there are 50,000 cases of each, no easy feat given the grapes Phinney has accessed and the quality he has turned out. As of now, Dave Phinney might be my “value winemaker of the year” candidate. P.S. It’s too expensive for this report, but I am including it as an hommage to what Dave Phinney has achieved. If there are better wines for under $20 a bottle in the world today, please share that information with The Wine Advocate. These are all remarkable efforts. Kudos to Dave Phinney! The 2011 Orin-Swift D66 VdP Cotes Catalanes, a blend of 80% Grenache, 12% Syrah and 8% Carignan (from 60- to 100-year-old vines), comes from the schist and limestone soils around the village of Maury. Aged in 100% French oak (25% new), this 10,000-case cuvee retails for around $43 a bottle, but I suspect discounters will offer it in the mid- to -upper $30 range. This black/ruby/purple-colored wine boasts a terrific perfume of creosote, camphor, charcoal, blackberries, acacia flowers and truffles. Full-bodied and opulent, this is a prodigious effort from the Cotes Catalanes. Even at its full retail price of $43, it represents a striking bargain. I rated it 95. [+]