Fred Swan

I'm an SF Bay Area-based wine writer, educator, judge and certified sommelier. My primary focus is the wines of Northern California, but I've walked vineyards around the world and have broad tastes.

Fred Swan's Wines

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Fred Swan's Rating

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  • Sep 15 at 9:43am

    Previously available for $89.00



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:43am
    Dark ruby and concentrated with an aromatic core of black cherry and prune which vacillates in the glass between jam and a bowl of very ripe whole fruit. The fruit is accented by allspice and spiced meat. The palate is medium-plus in body with matching tannins of fine grain and chalk. There’s more complexity on the palate than on the nose right now. Flavors include tart black cherry jam, prune, allspice and other dark, dry spices, dry leaves and potting soil. This is a very solid wine and represents the vintage well. Like many 2011 Cabs from the Rutherford AVA, it’s packed with savory complexity that will get even better with age. 89pts

  • Sep 15 at 9:42am
    Compare and Buy

    Average Price: $49.99



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:42am
    Dark ruby with a very purple tone, the complex nose brings baked black cherry, black currant, dark spice, violets, tart blueberry and lavender. The moderate tannins are very fine and chalky on a fresh, yet nearly full-bodied, palate. Flavors include tangy, cooked berries, black cherry, charcoal, dill and lots of dark spice. 89pts

  • Sep 15 at 9:41am
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    Average Price: $39.69



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:41am
    Another good value from 2011, this wine offers black cherry, moist cereal grain, dark spice and brown sugar on the nose and palate. It’s full-bodied with both prominent acidity and firm tannins of fine grain and chalk. A couple of years in the cellar will soften the tannins and release additional depth. 90pts

  • Sep 15 at 9:40am
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    Average Price: $27.99



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:40am
    Very fetching and fruit forward with bing cherry, candied cherry, mint, cocoa, brown spice and oak aromatics. The nearly full-bodied nearly full-bodied palate features very fine-grained tannins, medium-plus acidity and long flavors of blackberry cream, spice, oak and tobacco. 91+pts

  • Previously available for $0.00



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:40am
    This wine, decadent and unctuous, may show less vintage influence than any other Rutherford 2011 I’ve tasted. Aromas include milk chocolate, coconut, ripe black currants, brown spice and oak. It’s full-bodied in the mouth yet balanced by acidity and fine-grained, grippy tannins. Flavors include mint, tart black currant, spice, oak and coconut. 92pts

  • Sep 15 at 9:38am
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    Average Price: $76.59



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:38am
    This sensuous wine pulls you in with its aromas of black currant, black cherry, dark spice, tobacco, oak and vanilla. The full-bodied palate, surprisingly lush for 2011 but plenty juicy, is brimming with mocha, tangy black currant and spice. Fine-grained, chalky tannins are well-balanced by fresh fruit. Only 340 cases made. 92pts

  • Sep 15 at 9:35am
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    Average Price: $77.50



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:35am
    From its dark ruby color to the aromas of earthy black currant, tobacco, caramel and spice this wine exudes lithe masculinity. Medium-to-medium-plus body. Ripe but energetic black fruit and savory spice glide on a stage of very fine-grained and chalky tannins. Juicy throughout the lengthy finish. 92pts

  • Previously available for $69.97



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:35am
    Just 169 cases were made and it’s sold out at the winery. There should still be some at restaurants. Another unusually ripe wine for the vintage with dark ruby color and aromas of black cherry jam, both sweet and sour red cherries, dark spice, dry herb, potting soil and oak. The palate is virtually full-bodied and very fresh with moderate tannins and excellent length. Look for flavors of sweet and tart dark berries and earthy spice. 92+pts

  • Sep 15 at 9:34am

    Previously available for $115.00



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:34am
    This is an intriguing wine interwoven with contrasting flavors working magic together. There are baked red cherries, fresh red currant, cinnamon candy, smoke, dried meat, savory spice and dark, dried flowers on the nose. The fresh palate has medium-plus body and slightly grippy tannins of fine powder. Slightly sweet, chewy red cherries are surrounded by loads of savory spice, dried meat and dried thyme. 93pts

  • Previously available for $100.00



    Fred Swan's Review:
    Added Sep 15 at 9:34am
    Complex and engagingly Old World, scents of black currant, black cherry, trail dust, mushroom, drying herbs, earth, vanilla and spice waft generously from the glass. The wine is surprisingly full-bodied given the savory nose but acidity and tannins of fine powder and chalk keep things well in balance. The flavors are rich and more typical of the region: black cherry, coconut, coconut, spice and earth. More ready for drinking than many 2011, but will easily age for two decades. 93pts

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