Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

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Rich K0rz€nk0
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#1 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » April 28th, 2018, 5:05 am

This popped up in my LWS, 8 pack of a Zin blend, running at a 1000 entry point, not cheap.

http://www.orinswift.com/8YearsintheDesertInfo

Anyone familiar with it? Better, anyone feel it's worth it?

I've never been able to bring myself to go that high on Zins. Fantastic quality well below that spectrum.
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#2 Post by Rich Brown » April 28th, 2018, 8:59 am

Ummm. $1000 for 8 bottles of Orin Swift? I've got to take a huge pass on that one captain.

It would be fun to try them together though to see if you could discern any sort of different/unique characteristics between the wines, or I'd they all tasted pretty much the same. Well....it would be fun if someone else was paying of course ;)

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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#3 Post by GregT » April 28th, 2018, 9:32 am

No experience but I would be skeptical and most definitely wouldn't try them on my own dollar. Orin Swift is owned by Gallo. They've been trying to get into higher-end wines off and on for a long time and figured it's easier to use brands that aren't under their name.

Most of the other wines in that label are sourced from various places and blended into big, ripe, sweet wines. I've tried a handful and don't intend to try any more. Kudos to Phinney for turning his brand into a multi-million dollar business, but the brand is not about any type of finesse and I'm not sure he has any interest in that type of wine. At that price, it's an easy pass.

There's some pretty good Zin out there for a LOT less money.
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#4 Post by ky1em!ttskus » April 28th, 2018, 9:39 am

What Greg said. $60/btl in the Zin-world can blow your mind.

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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#5 Post by Nate Simon » April 28th, 2018, 11:40 am

Never heard of this wine. However, I have absolutely hated every Orin swift wine I’ve ever had.

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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#6 Post by jbray23 » April 28th, 2018, 12:58 pm

I had seen this offered through Vinopolis and had to laugh, $100+ Zin from Orin swift no less.... I think MTP should be outraged
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#7 Post by Jake Rubash » April 28th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Clearly you guys haven't seen the video:

https://vimeo.com/228893504

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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#8 Post by jbray23 » April 28th, 2018, 2:55 pm

Well, now it should be worth $300!!
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#9 Post by Rich Brown » April 28th, 2018, 3:06 pm

if 8 bottles of Orin Swift zin at $125 a pop isn't enough to get you excited....just noticed they also hook you up with shipping for only $50!! Where do I sign???

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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#10 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » April 28th, 2018, 3:28 pm

ky1em!ttskus wrote:What Greg said. $60/btl in the Zin-world can blow your mind.
That's where I've always sat. I saw it and just shook my head. I've passed on Dark Matter's Zins in the past, just could not see the price point even if it was spectacular Zin.

As someone else posted, would be interesting to see hjow the bottles vary, on someone's else's dime of course.
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#11 Post by robert creth » April 28th, 2018, 4:22 pm

Jake Rubash wrote:Clearly you guys haven't seen the video:

https://vimeo.com/228893504
That explains everything, I’m all in.

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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#12 Post by Siun o'Connell » April 28th, 2018, 6:31 pm

Oh god, that video is so bad ....

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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#13 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » April 28th, 2018, 6:51 pm

Siun o'Connell wrote:Oh god, that video is so bad ....
#cheeseville

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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#14 Post by P Turk » April 28th, 2018, 8:56 pm

My guess (actually not a guess, I guess), the non-compete clause from the original Prisoner sale (2000'ish) is up, and DP can produce a "prisoner" (aka Zin blend) type wine. I'll stick with the board favorites :-)
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#15 Post by Anton D » April 28th, 2018, 10:59 pm

Nate Simon wrote:Never heard of this wine. However, I have absolutely hated every Orin swift wine I’ve ever had.
I am not piling on or have an ax to grind. What Nate said is the same for me.
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#16 Post by R_Gilbane » April 29th, 2018, 8:17 am

That was a remarkably successful 8 year stint in the desert.
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#17 Post by David Cooper » April 29th, 2018, 8:56 am

I don't understand why their marketing is so dark.

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#18 Post by R_Gilbane » April 29th, 2018, 9:04 am

It’s brooding and angsty. Like a young teen version of SQN. If you liked the Twilight movies, you would probably love it. Not hating because there are clearly hundreds of millions of reasons why it works.
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#19 Post by David Cooper » April 29th, 2018, 9:34 am

I suppose you buy case then get a tattoo to validate the experience.

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#20 Post by David Glasser » April 29th, 2018, 12:34 pm

Sounds like a sentence for the crime of having produced The Prisoner. What’s next, Recidivism?

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#21 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » April 29th, 2018, 12:59 pm

8 years in the desert is not long enough for that guy.
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#22 Post by Kirk.Grant » April 29th, 2018, 2:59 pm

So they upped the price to pay for the making of the video? Really...is this even a wine that people want to be paying that much for?

I will admit that Originally I loved the Prisoner back in the 2004 vintage when I was first getting into wines over $25/bottle. However, it's just not something that I see a lot of people wanting...am I this far out of touch? Folks ITB...is it selling really well?
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#23 Post by Nate Simon » April 29th, 2018, 3:09 pm

My guess is they’re dipping their toes into the word of super-premium wine, hoping their name recognition will pay off. Ernest and Julio did the same years back.

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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#24 Post by Rich Brown » April 29th, 2018, 3:19 pm

Kirk.Grant wrote:So they upped the price to pay for the making of the video? Really...is this even a wine that people want to be paying that much for?

I will admit that Originally I loved the Prisoner back in the 2004 vintage when I was first getting into wines over $25/bottle. However, it's just not something that I see a lot of people wanting...am I this far out of touch? Folks ITB...is it selling really well?
Totally agree! I dug the 2004 and 2005 prisoner. Fairly unique and interesting wines with a distinct smokiness on the finish (what I remember most). Good for Phinney for making a boatload of money...but clearly the focus shifted towards that compared to attempting to make compelling wines for the wine-geek crowd.

No idea what to even make of this new venture. Guess when you've already made hundreds of millions....you can afford to get 'creative' and make weird-ass videos.

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#25 Post by SBayard » April 29th, 2018, 3:51 pm

Siun o'Connell wrote:Oh god, that video is so bad ....
You haven't lived until you've read the book of poetry & prose that goes with it...
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#26 Post by Drew Goin » April 29th, 2018, 10:08 pm

According to the Fact Sheet:

"56% Zinfandel, 34% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah"


"Eight Years in the Desert" is all about the "varietal" Zinfandel, yet it's barely over half composed of the grape? :|

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#27 Post by Siun o'Connell » April 30th, 2018, 7:32 am

SBayard wrote:
Siun o'Connell wrote:Oh god, that video is so bad ....
You haven't lived until you've read the book of poetry & prose that goes with it...
Nooooo ... the very idea is terrifying!

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#28 Post by RandyH » May 2nd, 2018, 12:32 pm

A few weeks Dave Phinney came to Cleveland and had a wine tasting at a local restaurant. He spoke extensively about this wine.
It is in fact a zin blend and the name does come from the expiration of the 8 year non-compete on the sale of Prisoner. The reason for the price has a lot to do with the packaging. Each 8 bottle box is hand made using linen. He said it takes a full day to assemble just one box. He is a master at packaging and labeling and it has worked well for him. The wine was good, not great, but I thought it could use some age or at least a decant to be able to tell its full potential. I think the Carlisle, Bedrock and Limerick Lane zins (just to name a few) are better and at a much lower price but I do think most will find this a well made wine.
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Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#29 Post by Seo S a l i m i » May 3rd, 2018, 3:22 pm

Not a fan of the wine, but I do admit to liking the labels. Always eye catching and attractive. You drink with your eyes, I guess.

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#30 Post by Anton D » May 3rd, 2018, 3:44 pm

Drew Goin wrote:According to the Fact Sheet:

"56% Zinfandel, 34% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah"


"Eight Years in the Desert" is all about the "varietal" Zinfandel, yet it's barely over half composed of the grape? :|
So, you are saying it tastes like a premium California pinot noir?
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#31 Post by Anton D » May 3rd, 2018, 3:47 pm

It's called "8 Years In The Desert" because "If You See Kay" was already taken.

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#32 Post by Marc Breitenmoser » May 3rd, 2018, 11:24 pm

Never heard of this wine. However, I have absolutely loved every Orin swift wine I’ve ever had. Including the ones produced in Maury France. One producer to watch imo.
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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#33 Post by Terence T-Bone Livingston » October 2nd, 2018, 2:36 pm

We have it for $41.99 / bottle - no price gouging here
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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#34 Post by Hank Victor » October 2nd, 2018, 4:46 pm

8 years in the dessert 2016 is a gift box set of 8 custom label bottles from Dave Phinney. Its supposed to symbolize his contract when he originally sold Prisoner stating that he couldn't work with Zinfandel for 8 years.

They're selling 8 years in the dessert 2017 by the btl/case and is different from the 2016 limited edition box.
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#35 Post by larry schaffer » October 2nd, 2018, 5:27 pm

Good for him. I hope he sells a boatload.

Lots of wine out there that many on this board would never spend the money for - and even more wines talked about, purchased and consumed on this board that the vast majority of folks will never spend the money for . . .

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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#36 Post by John Glas » October 3rd, 2018, 4:36 pm

Local shop today had an offer for $40. No thanks. Looks like the 16 is fetching the higher bucks.
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#37 Post by Lonnie F. » October 4th, 2018, 4:40 am

Our LWS has it for $35. I'm not sure I would like zinc and petite Sirah anyway.
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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#38 Post by Mike Kuller » October 4th, 2018, 3:08 pm

Just got this offer today from a local wine store.


2017 Orin Swift ‘8 Years In The Dessert’ (A California blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah & Syrah)

$44.99 per bottle with shipping included on 6 bottles or more

Once again our good friend, winemaker David Phinney, has mixed wine with performance art to great effect in his stunning return to the grape that first inspired his genius. I am not entirely sure about the imagery or iconography surrounding 8 Years In the Desert (and a trip to the website proved only more confusing) but Dave calls his return to making Zinfandel his most personal wine to date and, perhaps, his most important and I believe him. From a vinous standpoint, one thing is for sure, Phinney sure knows how to rock the Zin. Here he’s blended it with Petite Sirah, Syrah and a mysterious tincture of other grapes to create a wine of incredible personality and the panache that will remind Phinney Phans of the first Prisoner, the wine that turned conventional thinking about Zin on its ear. There’s drama here- the irrepressible richness of a compote of mixed berries and brambly spice too, like the canes of a blackberry patch in late summer, and hints of white pepper, vanilla bean, bitter chocolate, freshly turned earth, all kinds of things! Phinney’s wines never lack for the unique alchemy of the master blending and this might be one of his biggest triumphs. Smooth and delicious, it’s a wine whose finish goes on and on and will taste great alongside big, bold, highly-flavored meats and cheeses as well as all by its lonesome, the preferred way of many phans to enjoy their Phinneys. Just arrived, we suspect our allocation will disappear in very short order.

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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#39 Post by Mattstolz » October 7th, 2018, 7:08 pm

i saw this at a local shop today for less than $50. made me wonder how much someone woulda been paying for the OWC in the box set

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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#40 Post by I. Howe » October 8th, 2018, 5:04 am

I was at a nice dinner (steakhouse) on Friday evening. I had taken a 2011 Gourt de Mautens (Jerome Bressy) Vaucluse Rouge and a 2007 Ridge Lytton Springs. At one point during the meal, after I had tried both of my wines, the server brought me a sample of 8 Years in the Desert. This is my regular server, she knows my taste in wine and I know hers (very new world) so this was almost a little bit of a joke, but the restaurant has just received this wine the day before and she was excited about it, so I gave it a try. I am not sure what the residual sugar level is in this wine, but the word stratospheric comes to mind. I felt as if someone had liquefied fermented grape jelly and that was what I was drinking.
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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#41 Post by John Glas » October 13th, 2018, 11:13 pm

2017 Orin Swift Zinfandel 8 Years in the Desert - USA, California (10/11/2018)
Hennepin Lake Tasting 2018; 10/11/2018-10/14/2018 (Minneapolis, MN): Terrible wine. One of the worst wines of the year candidate. If you are into Orin Swift wines you slam them and don't smell and move the wine in your mouth. Overripe fruit and not acidity. I am not sure how a pro critic could give this above an 85. I will take over for you if you did. (82 points)

This wine is terrible.
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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#42 Post by John Glas » December 14th, 2018, 4:22 pm

https://www.cellartracker.com/classic/w ... ne=3065108 Looks like some industry folk reviewing this wine and loving it!
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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#43 Post by David Jefferson » December 15th, 2018, 5:59 am

I have to agree with the last few posts - to me it is an overextracted grape bomb

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#44 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » December 15th, 2018, 6:16 am

What were you all expecting when you drank this?

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#45 Post by David Jefferson » December 16th, 2018, 6:21 am

I was expecting an over extracted grape bomb, so no surprises

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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#46 Post by Michael Martin » December 16th, 2018, 6:47 am

It’s on the by the glass list at our local pizza joint. Our waiter let us try a small pour. Not horrible, but not really any different then many other riper style Zins.

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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#47 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » December 16th, 2018, 7:47 am

I enjoy this wine for what it is. It’s a nice drink if that doesn’t require a lot of thought. Not sure why people are giving it serious evaluation though. It’s like writing a review on Heineken or rolling rock.

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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#48 Post by Mike Kuller » December 16th, 2018, 1:44 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 7:47 am
I enjoy this wine for what it is. It’s a nice drink if that doesn’t require a lot of thought. Not sure why people are giving it serious evaluation though. It’s like writing a review on Heineken or rolling rock.
If Rolling Rock were $60 a 6-pack people would be writing negative things about it, too.

It's hard to justify a zin at over $40 a bottle - with one or two exceptions (Bedrock Heritage and Carlisle, for example).
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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#49 Post by John Glas » December 16th, 2018, 2:57 pm

They had the 8 Years newest vintage for $29.99 and no one bought it in a closeout bin at a favorite wine shop. They then moved the price up to $35.99 and sold some.
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Re: Anyone familiar with Orin Swift's 8 Years in the Desert?

#50 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » December 16th, 2018, 3:02 pm

I’d probably buy some if I saw it at $29. Its definitely a crowd pleaser when you have non wine people around.

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