Dave Phinney, the winemaker who founded The Prisoner and Orin Swift, bought a vineyard in Maury in 2008 and built a winery the next year. He now farms more than 300 acres of vineyards in the region’s black schist, most of the vines over 60 years old. This wine, a blend of grenache with small amounts of syrah and carignan, starts out intensely sweet, the cherry fruit as ripe and dense as jam. But if you decant it, a low growl of tannins emerge alongside an earthy minerality that firms it up. It tastes, in fact, like a dry wine from a sweet-wine appellation, an intriguing bottle to open with spicy lamb sausages or boar chops.
Optimum growing conditions with a crowning harvest mark the 2014 vintage. A saturated cardinal hue belted in garnet is revealed in the glass. The nose brims with an impeccable oak profile with shaded oak tree accents. A mineral cast of alluvial soil can be detected as well, which frames a vibrant perfume of red berry fruits, cassis, cardamom, and exotic spices. The entry bursts with a vibrant blueberry and cassis concentrate that is rounded out with the richness of a creme brulee, or crema catalana. The mid palate has vibrant acidity with distinctive mineral notes of garrigue, stone, and schist. Closing with purpose, the wine boasts silky tannins and a lengthy finish of sublime richness.
A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan