The 2018 Orin Swift “8 Years In The Desert” is a limited, eight series release. The 2018 vintage is the 2nd release of eight. The wine name represents the eight-year hiatus that David Phinney stopped producing Zinfandel, the grape that catapulted him into fame twenty years ago. Working with Zinfandel requires use of the Goldilocks principle – pick it too early and you end up with a stemmy wine; pick it too late and you risk a stuck fermentation; pick it just right… well, what do you think? Zinfandel tends to have more acidity compared to other grapes at the same sugar levels, therefore making it necessary to let them ripen more than usual. As a result, alcohols are rarely seen below 15% – some of ours much higher. Sourced from vineyards of pedigree, such as Monte Rosso, Bismark, Korte and Frei Ranch, the wine exudes the ethos of 8 Years in the Desert: a heart and body of Zinfandel with nuance and complexity from Syrah, Petite Sirah and Grenache. Aged for 8 months in French and American oak, 37% new. Winemaker’s Notes: An opaque core with a red amethyst rim, the wine opens with ripe raspberry and blackberry, dark plum preserves and hints of black pepper and clove. An entry of heft, the palate is packed with blueberry and sweet black cherry along with touch thyme, savory and tarragon. Long on the finish, the ripe tannins, a dash of ash, and notes of black tea round out the wine.