Glowing in the glass, the aromatics concentrate with notes of lemongrass, fresh-cut grass and hints of lavender, cream, and jasmine. On the palate, the entry is all acidity but with a serious mid-palate—lively flavors of kiwi, lime, and intriguing minerality. The finish is bright and youthful with a slight Meyer lemon rind closing out the wine.
Robert Parker 91 Points
About Orin Swift Cellars
The history of Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when on a lark, David Swift Phinney took a friend up on an offer and went to Florence, Italy to spend a semester “studying”. During that time, he was introduced to wine, how it was made, and got hooked. A few more years of university led to graduation and eventually a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary harvest worker. Deciding that if he was going to work this hard, it would eventually have to be for himself, he founded Orin Swift Cellars in 1998; Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his mother’s maiden name. With two tons of zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and grew the brand to what it is today.
About the Blank Stare label
Phinney thinks of wines as either masculine or feminine, and his labels often reflect that. The label for his Blank Stare Sauvignon Blanc, made from grapes sourced from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, with a dash of old vine Semillon from Sonoma’s Monte Rosso vineyard, flags up the femininity of the wine inside the bottle.
Using the collage approach he took for Abstract, the layering effect of a pair of gouged out eyes over a black-and-white photo of a female model is sinister, which is exactly the look Phinney was going for. “It has the desired effect. A lot of people have told me it creeps them out,” says Phinney.