2009 Orin Swift "Saldo" Zinfandel

SKU #1066389 Wine Spectator

 Dense in structure, but shows finesse, with toasty black cherry and grilled anise aromas that lead to ripe, zesty flavors of blackberry, espresso and fresh pepper. Best from 2013 through 2017.  (6/2011)

K&L Notes

Dave Phinney knows Zinfandel, and after years of making the incredibly popular blend, the Prisoner, he's parlayed his access to top Zin vineyards into this single-varietal bottling comprised of fruit from such sites as Aparicio, Bismark, Duarte, Eagle Point, Frediani, Grist, Haywood, Heitz Ink Grade, Korte, Monte Rosso and Pato, among others. Named Saldo, which in Spanish can refer to balance, but also can loosely be translated to mean "from here and there" this is a wine from here and there in California. A great follow up to the 2008, which was one of the Wine Spectator's Top 100 wines of 2010, the 2009 smells like spring at the farmers' market, with aromas of ripe Gaviota and Seascape strawberries tempting you from every angle. There's a hint of spice on the nose, too, though everything turns decidely darker on the palate, with rich black fruits, mouthcoating tannins and bright acidity. A fresh, sultry wine to enjoy in the near term with a steak salad or roasted chicken.

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Price: $27.99
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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.