Orin Swift 2013 Papillon (95RP)
- Size: 750ml
- Item Code: WN16021602
- Vintage: 2013
The 2013 Papillon Proprietary Red is 100% from Napa and is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This killer wine has an inky purple color and offers notes of espresso roast intermixed with white chocolate, creme de cassis, blackberry and a touch of toasty oak. The wine was aged 16 months in French oak, of which 40% was new. Broad and opulent, with great intensity, purity and depth, this is another stunner from Dave Phinney, a.k.a. Orin Swift. Dave Phinney, better known for his winery called Orin Swift, is one of the more creative young minds in all of the world’s winedom. He is doing things that are far beyond his modest age and deserves to be commended for the brilliant individuality/singularity of all of his efforts.” (RP)
Petit Verdot is thought to be native to western Bordeaux, likely present in the Médoc well before Cabernet Sauvignon and probably more prevalently grown. Plantings are sparse today but where it is grown, the variety’s contribution is significant. In Bordeaux Petit Verdot is confined to the left bank of the Gironde, where the deep gravel soils are warmer than the clay soils of the right bank. It ripens extremely late, after Cabernet Sauvignon, and in cool years may not ripen at all, or only irregularly. Wet growing seasons also work to its disadvantage. Hardy but not prolific, the Petit Verdot vine produces small, spherical, thick skinned berries of intense blue-black color, high in tannin, alcohol, acidity and phenolics, or flavoring elements. In the Médoc, in those properties where it is planted at all, it usually represents less than ten percent of the vines. Its grudging cooperation in the vineyard is likely why it is not more prevalent, since it is an excellent contributor of color, structure, fragrance and fruit density, though it lacks finesse. On its own, in warmer climates, it yields a dark, firmly structured, tannic wine of superb acidic balance with full, fresh, spice, pepper and black fruit flavors and aromas offset by an impression of violets. Also grown in Italy, Spain, California, Australia, Chile and Argentina.
Merlot originated from the Bordeaux region of France. It typically produces a soft, medium-bodied red wine with juicy fruit flavors. A range of fresh flavors such as plums, cherries, blueberries and blackberries mixed with cocoa and blackpepper tones, often dominate this type of red wine. The tannin levels are typically lower than say a Cab and the fruit flavors are typically forward – making this a prime wine candidate for people that are just beginning to drink red wine. Merlot is often used to blend with other varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Merlot is extremely versatile as a food wine pairing well with everything from poultry, red meat and pork, to pastas and salads.
Recent studies in ampelography, using the relatively new application of DNA fingerprinting, have determined that cabernet franc is one of the genetic parents of cabernet sauvignon (the other is sauvignon blanc). Both cabernet varieties are among the five major grapes of Bordeaux. The differences between franc and sauvignon become apparent when grown and fermented in close proximity.
Cabernet franc vines bear thinner-skinned, earlier-ripening grapes with lower overall acidity, when compared to cabernet sauvignon. Yields are similar, although cabernet franc normally buds and ripens somewhat earlier. Cabernet Franc leaf.Consequently vineyards in climates where rain is a harvest-time threat often plant this grape, in place of or in addition to cabernet sauvignon. Cabernet franc vines survive cold winters better than cabernet sauvignon, but are more susceptible to being damaged by Spring frosts.
France has by far the most cabernet franc plantings of any wine producing nation with over 35,000 acres. There are significant plantings of cabernet franc in St. Emilion, the Loire Valley (where it is known as Breton), and south west France (aka Bouchy). There are cabernet franc vineyards in Romania, Hungary, the Balkans, and the Friuli region of north eastern Italy (aka cabernet frank). New plantings in the 1990s in Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina show promise. In the United States, cabernet franc is planted in Long Island, New York, and in Washington state. California has about 2,000 acres, mostly planted since 1980, over half in Napa and Sonoma.
Depending a great deal on vineyard practices, the flavor profile of Cabernet Franc may be both fruitier and sometimes more herbal or vegetative than Cabernet Sauvignon, although lighter in both color and tannins. Over-cropping and underexposure each tend to accentuate the vegetative flavor elements. Typically somewhat spicy in aroma and often reminiscent of plums and especially violets, Cabernet Franc is more often used as a secondary or tertiary element in varietally-blended red wines, such as Bordeaux or Meritage, instead of as a stand-alone varietal bottling.