The Prisoner


The Prisoner was created by Orin Swift Cellars founder Dave Phinney, who grew it from 400 cases to 85,000 in just 10 vintages. In 2010, he sold it, along with Saldo Zinfandel, to Huneeus Vintners, which owns Quintessa in Napa and Neyen in Chile, among other brands. Phinney stayed on as winemaker during a transition phase, but starting with the 2013 vintage, Jen Beloz is in charge of The Prisoner, Saldo and a new lineup of wines, including Blindfold, Cuttings (a Cabernet-based blend) and Thorn (a Merlot-based blend). 


The Prisoner Red Wine is a blend of 44% Zinfandel, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petite Syrah, 16% Syrah and 2% Charbono. The wines were sourced from the Rodgers, Somerston, Mabel Tiedemann, Solari, Korte, Page Nord, York Creek, Tofanelli, Luchtel, Rancho Chimiles, Black Sears and Hudson vineyards before being matured in a combination of American oak and French oak barrels.

The Prisoner Red Wine

As a result, the wine has an aroma of briar fruits, dried cherries, vanilla and toasted oak. Notes of blueberry, ripe mulberry, espresso beans, cracked pepper and baking spices are evident on the palate. The finish is dense and lingering, with a touch of oaky tannins.

The wine earned a score of 92 points from Wine Advocate in 2014 and 2013.   The Wine Spectator has scored this wine at 90-92 points from 2010 to 2013.

Price:  Between $37 to $60