It was all a dream. The year was 1995 and it was a hot August day. I started small talk with this lad about wine. He said to me, “One day Everyone will know my name as a great wine maker.” I said, “that’s an ambitious statement for an American staying in Florence, Italy.” He gave me a smile and said, “I will call it Orin Swift!” Fast forward to January 2018. WineClubMiami was starting the 2018 year with new President Wesley Castellanos. As this is his return from a few years ago as president, we asked, “What have you learned about being the president of the club?”His reply, “You can never please everyone’s palate in wine. Either they like it, indifferent or just don’t know the nature about wine.”Needs no introduction. His website says it all. http://www.orinswift.com. He is creating a powerhouse of wines coming out of California. Inspired by his trip in Italy in 1995 then working for the Legendary Robert Mondavi in 1997. He dedicated the company to his parents by giving the names of Orin in his father’s middle name and Swift as his mother’s maiden name. Now to the tasting. Don’t forget that Wesley has been Barbequing Aged Ribeyes from Whole Foods with free ranged chicken. Mercury Head 2012:
Napa Valley 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. A rich and dense dark red. A nice punch of cigars and lead accented dark berries. On the palate was a powerful texture to express the body and cabernet. You can tell this was made with precious and attention. The finish has strong tannins as it was a young bottle. I would say this bottle can age very well for 20-25 years. Hold. Paired with fat of the Rib Eye, medium rare with Kosher Salt.
Palermo 2012: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Again a rich color with some swirl of lightness from the Merlot. On the nose as the amazement. The Merlot was an orchestrated very well as is was a perfect balance. It made me appreciate this combination. As you swirled the body was apparent on the legs. The Malbec was the toning of this powerful body. The cabernet came through well, but the Merlot gave it the grace as the Malbec sewed the varietals together perfectly. Drink now to appreciate it but hold for 15 years. Paired with meat of the Rib Eye, medium rare with Kosher Salt. Papillon 2012: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, & Cabernet Franc. This Bordeaux blend was ready for us.Intense dark. Excellent ripe berries, lead, graphite and stewed grapes. A fully bodied, almost silky texture with hints of tannins on the finish. It kept me salivating for more. I could not stop smelling this beautiful bottle. I went and purchased as many as I could as this bottle will be worth 5 fold in 10 years. Collect this jewel as it is a commodity. Paired with marinated Chicken in Italian Dressing.
Machete 2013:Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. The finisher!!A lighter hue with a high alcohol on the legs. Great dark berries and some chocolate. A smooth texture that paired well when letting the chocolate dissolve on your tongue. Paired with Chocolate from Spain. Each bottle was difference in shape. I know this adds to overhead for Orin Swift but it made the wines distinct to the bottle. We thank Orin SWIFT and his team for this amazing experience. I, Wesley Castellanos, decided to try this line-up in this order to start from a 100% Variatel to see what would happen when you added 2 other varietals then 4 more. Each step made you appreciate the 100% to then open your palate to blends. Blends usually carry more emphasis as it is mixed to taste many ways. The trick to make one varietal taste one way.
Sincerely, Wesley Castellanos, President 2018