Wine Review: Orin Swift 2007 The Prisoner Napa Valley Red Wine


I had the opportunity to be at the right place at the right time. A friend of mine gave me a bottle of Orin Swift 2007 The Prisoner Napa Valley Red Wine last week. Tonight I decided to try it along with an omelet robust in flavor. You’re asking yourself, wine with an omelet? Of course! It’s dinner time! You will come to know, when I prepare an omelet, it’s not just for breakfast anymore!

“The Prisoner” as it’s called is a red zinfandel. A very dark red zinfandel. You would think it was a Bourdeaux at first glance. Perfect with a heavy red meat meal or something bursting with flavor to compliment the The Prisoner. I would go as far as saying this particular blend of Zin makes a perfect dessert wine. Say with a nice New York Style Cheesecake with a raspberry sauce. You understand where I’m going don’t you? Sure you do.

I consider this to be a very well balanced wine. The aroma of blackberry comes on strong with an added bonus of a cedar spice after opening. As you let the wine sit, a hint of strawberry and blueberry feels your senses.

You would expect The Prisoner to have a ‘heavy’ taste, but no…your palate is greed with a soft balanced blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Charbono and Grenache. It is heavier on the Zinfandel and Cabernet, but again balanced.

The Prisoner finishes off nicely with a nice tannic on the backside with a smooth finish. I notice this more as the wine sits, taking my time sipping. I’m actually sitting here enjoying a glass of it right now.

Wine Spectator gave The Prisoner 92 points. It is ranked 17 in the world out of all wines. Not too shabby. But to the individual, being 1st or 17th doesn’t matter.

I recommend this wine to those who do not care for sweet wines, but like them on the robust full-flavored side of life.

The next time you are grilling a nice thick steak out on the grille or having dessert overlooking the bay. Take no prisoners, only THE PRISONER.


NOTE: The 2007 Prisoner blend is 50% Zinfandel, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah and a dash of Charbono and Grenache.

The image is inspired by an original etching depicting a prisoner in chains Dave Phinney received as a gift from his mother and father (Orin and Swift).

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