Orin Swift Cellars Blank Stare 2017
Orin Swift Cellars Blank Stare has a lively acidity and distinct style that will spark a bright interest in any blank stare.
Glowing pale yellow colour. Concentrated lemongrass and fresh cut grass open the bouquet with hints of lavender, cream and jasmine right on their heels. Entry to the palate is all acidity but quickly evolves into a serious mid-palate with lively flavours. Features lime zest, kiwi, green apple, white peach, a touch of honey and intriguing wet stone minerality. Closes with a bright and youthful finish of subtle Meyer lemon rind.
97% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Muscat.
Earlier vintages of Blank Stare were originally created using grapes from Veladora in Napa Valley. But Orin Swift was looking to produce a different, more nervy expression of Sauvignon Blanc from a cooler region. Since 2016, they’ve been able to source fruit from the Russian River Valley, Veladora’s Napa Valley sister. The grapes in the Russian River Valley are able to ripen to their liking while also retaining a fresh, lively acidity. This 2017 vintage of Blank Stare comes mainly from hand-picked blocks in the Laguna Ranch and MacMurray Ranch vineyards. It continues the Orin Swift goal of crafting Blank Stare as a wine with livelier acidity and a distinctive minerality, akin to old world Sauvignon Blancs, while still retaining their signature style. A vintage truly representative of its locale.
80% goes through fermentation in stainless steel tanks, with 20% barrel fermentation in French oak.
About the Label
The creative (maybe slightly disturbing gothic and grunge) style of their labels encourage you to rethink wine through a different lens. Each label is an evocative expression of art that leaves a heart-skipping impression. The inspiration for and execution of a label can happen anywhere. Sometimes all you need is a transatlantic flight, a dozen international fashion magazines, a glass of Chardonnay and time.
Phinney thinks of wines as either masculine or feminine, and his labels often reflect that. The label for Blank Stare 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.
Fancy this wine? We think you might also want to check out Cannonball Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc 2017.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Blended with a smaller portion of Muscat, the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Blank Stare gives up compelling notes of spiced pears, ripe peaches, green apples and dill seed with a waft of aniseed. Medium-bodied and satiny, with a lovely line of freshness, it finishes long and lively.