Orin Swift Cellars makes the very successful The Prisoner, which sports the style of all of Swift’s wines: big, fleshy, rich and fragrant. Now, the winery is releasing wine from Spain called E Locations. You seem, California is beginning to be in very short supply for quality grapes as both 2010 and 2011 were small crop years. So, the Swift folks have been scouring Europe and this “E” (for Espana) is the first of their Old World bottling, and soon Italy and France will be included.
This 2011 E is very, very impressive. This inky colored red is a blend of grenache from Priorat, tempranillo and grenache from Rioja, and cariñena from Ribera del Duero. Dave Phinney sourced the fruit as he traveled the country, and he looked for the same types of terroir that he uses for his American bottlings.
On visual inspection, the color is a dazzling ruby. The aromas erupt like a rocket, and then take off into a blend of framboise, ripe boysenberry, stone fruit, warm spice and a hint of oak. Extremely well-balanced with proper weight and structure, the wine is ready to drink now. The price is $18.99 a bottle and it can be found at Vanguard Wines if your favorite store doesn’t carry it.
Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile’s, the Wine Sellers – www.gentiles.com – and the author of two books on wine.