It’s cold out, y’all. What does that mean? It’s time for a beast of a red wine! Stop looking, because you’ve just found it. After all, who does beast better than Orin Swift? Maybe a few. But not with the same kind of finesse. So, I write to you today from under a fleece blanket, wearing a hoodie, having refused to turn on the heat last night. House is a balmy 66 degrees. It’s mornings like today’s that cause conversations like this to take place:
So now that I’ve managed to get out of bed without the assistance of a wifi-enabled thermostat that also makes coffee (speaking of which- I would marry this gadget if it existed), we can talk about this gigantic beast of a wine! Yep, it’s early, but it’s okay. You need this wine in your life to get through these first painful days of “winter”. Been itching to build that first fire of the year? Plan on it, plan on a bottle of this to go with it, and you’ll be a happy camper. This wine is good for sipping on it’s own after dinner- not that it wouldn’t be good with food, but it’s rich palate makes it great as a stand-alone.
Look at that! A way cool label. Something Orin Swift Wines also excels at. The last vintage of the Abstact was an all-black label, with raised, textured pictures on it. Also pretty cool, but this one is a little more eye-catching. So the 2012 is a blend of Grenache, Petite Sirah and Syrah of undisclosed percentages. The fruit was sourced from Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Amador and El Dorado. The nose has a nice California Grenache-y wildness- some high notes of herbs, red raspberry and a hint of fresh flowers. Give the glass a swirl, however, and be prepared for vanilla, vanilla, vanilla- and some intense blackberry liqueur, black cherry, dark chocolate and black licorice. Sage, pepper and a touch of clove are hiding in there, too. I should also mention that this wine is a whopping 15.7% alcohol- heat is definitely a trademark of Orin Swift wines, but the booze is carried here gracefully and without awkwardness. Like this:
She’s in a chariot, in case you can’t tell. I searched long and hard for a better image, but no luck. AND in case you don’t know who this is- ONLY one of the greatest, most deliciously vile female characters ever written- Atia of the Julii. Love. Her.
This wine greets you with flashy, dark fruit and leaves you with a brooding spice content and a bit of tannin. That’s always what I’ve liked about the Abstract, in particular- it’s pensive and dark and a little closed. The Prisoner is eager to meet you and smiles a toothy grin; the Abstract stares you down for a few minutes before agreeing to shake your hand. Once it does, it is generous, hangs on firmly, and does not disappoint. I consider this wine to be a steal at $28 retail. It is for sale at Cellar on Greene as we speak, so I suggest hopping to it before it’s too late! Orin Swift wines are almost always scantily available, and once November and December roll around, even more so. Happy drinking!
3 thoughts on “Beast of the Week- Orin Swift Abstract, 2012”
I can certainly think of a more fetching image of Polly Walker from the Rome series, but this wine sounds almost like a red Cotes du Rhone. How would you compare the two?
The Prisoner is eager to meet you and smiles a toothy grin; the Abstract stares you down for a few minutes before agreeing to shake your hand. Once it does, it is generous, hangs on firmly, and does not disappoint.
I just bought a case of the Abstract and have enjoyed The Prisoner for years… I can’t think of a better description/play on words than what you wrote above.