Orin Swift Cellars Machete 2016
The baddest wine of them all, Machete takes no prisoners. Orin Swift Cellars Machete takes no prisoners. It’s in-your-face aromatically, punching your mouth from within. The tannins remind you of what it’s like to feel and the ink will put a smile on your face. Robust, dominant and unapologetic, the wine creates its own gravity, pulling all towards it.
Violet ink colour. Forward nose of black plums, cassis and cacao engage. The robust entry is a blackberry and boysenberry compote punch with a reduction of dark plum, ripe figs and pure Amarena cherry. Flashes of vanilla and traces of minerality evolve into chalky tannins and a smooth lingering finish.
A blend of Petite Syrah, Syrah and Grenache. The goal with Machete was to elevate Petite Syrah to the main stage and showcase its multi-dimensionality: how it can be both brawny and delicate at the same time. To create the best possible Petite Syrah-based blend from California, Orin Swift chose quality individual wine lots from prominent vineyards across California to create a seamless blend with both finesse and power.
Ageing for 10 months in French Oak, 40% new.
Top Tip: Decant an hour before serving.
About the Label
The creative (if slightly disturbing gothic and grunge) style of Orin Swift labels encourage you to rethink wine through a different lens. Each label is an evocative expression of art that leaves a heart-skipping impression.
This rich and expressive red features 12 different labels in the series. The challenge was developing a label that would match the boldness and complexity of the wine in the bottle. On a journey, a machete exists to serve a specific purpose: to cut, slash and forge a path through the thicket. In many ways, Machete has done similarly, albeit symbolically. It forges ahead, showcasing a seamless blend with both finesse and power, ultimately, creating a wine that embodies the spirit and energy of Orin Swift.
Phinney got the idea for the label while driving home from San Francisco one day. Spotting what he thought was a white police car ahead of him, as he got closer he realised it was an old cop car that had been resold. Behind the wheel was a postman with his arm hanging out of the window puffing on a cigarette. The word ‘Killers” had been keyed onto the side of the car.
Inspired, Phinney set up a photo shoot with the cop car using Calistoga’s moon-like landscape as a backdrop. His initial idea of keying the word ‘Machete’ onto the car and shooting a machete-wielding model behind the wheel didn’t pan out.
Shot over the course of two days, it took over 10,000 attempts to get a dozen Phinney was happy with. “The model is always high up in the frame of every image. She’s always in a position of power. That was important to me,” he says.
Check out the other gorgeous Californian Reds we’ve got.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Potent, plump and heady dried berry, violet and sandalwood accents power toward broad-shouldered tannins. Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Drink now through 2024.
Made of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Malbec and aged for ten months in 40% new French oak, the deep purple-black colored 2016 Proprietary Red Machete sings of crushed black raspberries and warm blackberries with hints of bay leaves, tilled soil and garrigue. Full-bodied, firm and grainy, it has a lively line and tons of evocative black fruit and sautéed herbs layers, finishing long and earthy.