Mastermind California winemaker and founder of Orin Swift Cellars, Dave Phinney, is officially back and the wines are better than ever. After selling his iconic The Prisoner brand in 2008, Phinney took a mandatory eight-year hiatus from Zinfandel winemaking in light of the associated non-compete clause. As a nod to this hiatus, Eight Years in the Desert was born and 2018 marks the third iteration of Phinney’s latest passion project. The wine is a powerhouse blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Grenache. It’s a decadent, dense wine that opens with aromas of ripe raspberry, plum, baking spice, and cracked pepper and boasts layered flavors of blueberry, cherry, and fresh herbs. Silky tannins lead into a long finish, perfectly showcasing the dance between sheer power and elegance that California Zinfandel can achieve when managed with an expert hand.

The Prisoner wine base grew from a small-but-loyal cult following into one of the most commercially successful wines ever, but it also redefined modern wine branding. Not surprisingly, Eight Years in the Desert’s labels are just as striking as its predecessor’s, if not more so. There will be a new label released over eight vintages: all are unique, but each vintage’s version will incorporate representation of California’s famous Joshua Tree, film or photo negatives, and a layered textural component. Phinney’s approach to winemaking seems akin to that of an artist, and these bold, captivating labels reflect the bold, captivating wine within the bottle.

The lifelong quest to craft the perfect Zinfandel, a notoriously difficult grape to tame, remains a driver for all of Phinney’s projects, and he seems well on his way with the 2018 Eight Years in the Desert. As Phinney explains it, “if you have zero risk you can count on zero reward.” Everything lines up with the newest vintage release, and we’re thrilled to be offering this wine for one week only, or until sold out. 


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Winter 2019-2020. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in IL, LA, NY, TN, or WI. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Monday, November 4, 2019.