92pts Wilfred Wong
The Orin Swift Cellars Eight Years in the Desert is David Swift Phinney's testament to the wine world. He took his first two tons of Zinfandel in 1998 to a brand of significance. The 2018 vintage is massive, yet stylish and restrained. This is a mouthful of wine that explodes onto the palate with the strength of a complex medley of berries. Pair it with slow-grilled baby back ribs.
92pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Composed o Zinfandel with Syrah, Petite Sirah and Grenache, the 2018 Red Blend 8 Years in the Desert was aged for eight months in American oak barrels (37% new). Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes roaring out of the glass with notions of baked black cherries, raspberry preserves, blueberry tart and potpourri plus hints of garrigue, tobacco leaf and cinnamon stick. Full-bodied, the richly fruited palate has a pleasantly chewy texture and loads of savory layers coming through on the finish.
Heady aromas of brambly raspberry, black fig, and peppercorn dominate; time in glass exposes more—dark chocolate, fennel, and High Sierra forest floor. The palate is lush and opulent with blackberries, dark plums, and currants. More flavors add to the quality of the blend—a visceral minerality and fresh Herbs de Provence. Fully integrated with puckering tannins, the wine bows out with finesse. 53% Zinfandel, 23% Syrah, 20% Petite Sirah, 4% Grenache