The Prisoner Napa Valley Red Wine Label

2009 "The Prisoner" Napa Valley Red Wine

The Prisoner Napa Red Wine Label

Sorry, but the 2009 Prisoner Red Wine is Sold Out!  The 2010 will be released November 1, 2011. Click here to see the post for the 2010 Prisoner.

Once again David Phinney displays  his talents as a master blender.  To me this is a genuine indicator of a talented winemaker, and it's not just about blending different varietals.  First you have to find the grapes, be able to buy them, know the vineyard sites, the growers, and the growing season from all the different micro-climates.  Then it's blending different barrels, picked at different times, from different vineyards.  It's a monumental task, and Phinney has proven time and time again that he's very good at it.

Orin Swift's The Prisoner Napa Valley Red Wine is one of the most sought after domestic red wines that has developed a loyal following.  Year after year, legions of devout fans of The Prisoner increases, and the wine does not disappoint fans of explosive, sexy red wines.

One reason The Prisoner has such a loyal following may be due to it's consistently rich structure and fruit forward character that fans of big red wines can rely on year after year.  Wine critics seem to agree.  Reviews of previous vintages consistently see The Prisoner rated between 90-93.

2009 Vintage - Another Great Year!

There is every reason to expect the new 2009 Prisoner to be another huge success! 2009 was yet another exceptional vintage for California red wines.  An excellent growing season and early tastings of 2009 California wines have revealed some brilliant surprises.  As a preview of how 2oo9 is being received, the Wine Spectator rated the 2009 vintage for California Cabernet Sauvignon 94-97.

Right out of the gate, the 2003 "Prisoner" received a 92-point rating in the Wine Spectator.  The 2005 Prisoner was selected No. 17 on the venerable Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2007 list, and has been a fixture on the list ever since.

The Prisoner Red Wine BottleOrin Swift 2009  The Prisoner Napa Valley Red Wine

Winemaker Notes:

"The 2009 has a deep ruby hue that is nearly opaque.The aromas elevate from the glass starting with black currant, dark blackberry, cherry, and cassis rounded out by subtle hints of seasoned French and American oak.  The entry of the wine is massive and leads into a lush middle framed by bright acid and supple tannins.  The finish is long, lingering and filled with soft velvety tannins lasting for nearly thirty seconds." ($35)
—Dave Phinney, winemaker

T h e  P r i s o n e r  B l e n d
49% Zinfandel,
19% Cabernet Sauvignon
18% Syrah
7% Petite Sirah
3% Charbono
1% Grenache

*these numbers are approximate

(Order Your 2009 Prisoner Below)

About Dave Phinney

Dave Phinney of Orin SwiftWinemaker Dave Phinney has reached veritable stardom in wine circles with his Prisoner blend.  His talents for blending has been proven year after year and has built this brand to a point where wine aficionados eagerly await each new release.  The label features an etching by the artist Goya that Dave received from his parents as a teenager.

Phinney is a classic example of the new wave of creative winemakers with great vineyard connections that allow him to showcase his skill in blending wines.  For The Prisoner, David secures fruit from some of Napa's best vineyards.

When I first met Dave he told me the story of how he got on the waiting lists of top vineyards just to get enough for a barrel or two worth of grapes.  Vineyards like Morisoli, Taplin, Duarte, and Tofanelli were on his "hit list".  Eventually he not only got some fruit from these vineyards, but now people come to him constantly offering him the best fruit from their vineyards.  A true testament to the quality of wines Dave is making.

Other wines in the Orin Swift portfolio include Mercury Head Cabernet (Spring release), Papillon (a Bordeaux-style blend - 2007 is the current release and available), Saldo California Zinfandel (18 bottles of the 2008 is available - $28) and Valdora Sauvignon Blanc.  Dave is also the winemaker for a few select wineries including Beau Vigne and Stanton.

Earlier this year, the Prisoner and Saldo labels were purchased by the Huneeus Vintners, owners of Quintessa.  Phinney will remain on as the winemaker.

The Prisoner 2009 Napa Valley Red Wine

$35 per bottle, $420 per case

Focused, rich and ripe, showing aromas of black cherry and smoky pepper, with sleek but complex flavors of boysenberry, licorice and toasty oak that linger with balanced tannins. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Charbono and Grenache. Drink now through 2015. 55,000 cases made. –TF

4 Comments

  • WinnnieT@red wine

    June 30, 2010

    Sounds like this man is doing well for himself. I hope to try some of his wine sometime.

  • Tim McD

    July 26, 2011

    I just picked up some of this wine, is it ideal to let it age a few more years are drink right away?

  • George Bato

    July 27, 2011

    Tim, I think the 2009 Prisoner is very approachable now, but will age well for another 5 years, maybe more. As with any big reds, especially newer release I highly recommending decanting and even double decanting with big wines like the Prisoner.

  • PAT CORPE

    October 12, 2011

    NEVER DRANK RED WINE TILL THE PRISONER, NOW THAT ALL I DO DRINK IN RED. ITS THE BEST. WE HAVE A FRIEND GROUP OF 18 PEOPLE WE GET TOGETHER WITH MONTHLY AND THEY ALL LOVE IT AND NOW BUY IT ALSO. THANKS

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