Orin Swift Cellars Abstract; Who Needs a Warm Blanket?

The first deep cold of this winter season came blasting through this weekend. Windchills were recorded at 35F below zero.  Snowflakes were whipped horizontally by the wind.

As the system pulled away, even the sun couldn’t disguise the cold that settled in behind.  It merely glinted off the ice that remained solidly on frozen surfaces.

Damn you winter vortex!  I opened the biggest, most warming, most wrap-yourself-in-a-cozy-blanket wine I could find. 

Orin Swift Cellars abstract.  The bottle is heavy enough to work your biceps, the ‘abstract’ artwork is culturally mind-bending, and the elixir within is massive.

Orin Swift Cellars was created by Dave Swift Phinney in 1998 after he had worked for the Robert Mondavi Winery as a temporary harvest worker. He decided never to work that hard again for anyone other than himself! He based the winery name on his parents; Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his Mother’s maiden name. Already, my heart was warmed by his choice to honor his parents.

Abstract is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah sourced from Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. Over a hundred lots of wines were fermented. Then Dave got to work tasting and blending until he found the right mix for his wine.  The wine was aged ten months in French oak barrels of which 35% are new.


The color is brilliant with blue/black hues and purple tones.

Aromas fill the room, with black plum and black raspberry. Blueberry aromas are present too, along with even more blackberry! Some dried currant and dried herbal notes work their way into the complex mix and sweet vanilla develops as the glass sits.

Flavors are full of wrap-around-warmth. The palate is thick and plush, just like your favorite blanket, holding flavors of dark fruits, some dried fruits and herbs, and pepper spice. Just over 15% alcohol makes this a big, dense wine, but it remains a comfortable drink, not overwhelming the nose or palate. Spice notes on the finish add energy and vanilla sweetens it up.  Gentle, dusty tannins lead to a final bit of spice and red fruit, lingering on for while.

I began sipping this luxurious wine in the afternoon sunshine. As the light was leaving the sky and the temperatures began to drop even lower, I finished up the last few drops. 

No blanket was needed by the end of the bottle! Abstract’s lush, warm character was enough to keep me protected from the cold!


Sipping on a cold winter day;

A wine drinker looking for a dense, concentrated, lush wine with a big, warming style. 


About the author: winesnob50@yahoo.com

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