Dave Phinney, creator of Orin Swift wines in the 1990’s, has a new project blending varietals from old vines from various regions of a country to make a wine that is not restricted by appellation rules. Called Locations, the geographic center of these wines is dispersed. This Spanish wine is sourced from Priorat, Jumilla, Toro, Rioja and Ribera del Duero and includes Garnacha, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Cariñena. It comes down to the art of the blend.
I don’t have the exact blend but the generous fruit and mineral notes on this wine remind me of Priorat in the modern, less oaky style.
On the nose, dark plum, licorice, smoke, and charcoal are ascendant. Baked earth and a toasted cumin seed note hide in the background.
In the mouth, the prelude is dense with fruit power extending to the midpalate where it begins to dissipate showing characteristic mineral notes. With more structure than finesse, the midpalate has a leathery texture, smooth but not supple with enough fruit to temper any rough edges. The acid and tannin on the medium-length finish oscillate from angular to soft velvet giving the wine a sense of playful urgency.
Serve this with something charred. I paired it with a nicely crisped chicken breast in brown butter vinaigrette and the wine gave the char a luscious round, sweet note.
This doesn’t wow with complexity but it is very active on the palate with lots of motion. Brash and confident, dark yet vibrant, a glimmer against the gloom, a defiant rebel with a cause, a Billy Idol wine.
Technical Notes: 10 months in barrel.
Price: $20 (Purchase here)
Review based on an industry sample