2009 Carlisle "Gold Mine Ranch" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1112880 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque ruby. Intensely perfumed bouquet of black raspberry, dried rose, star anise and cracked pepper, plus a hint of anise that gains strength with air. Juicy, seductively sweet and penetrating red and dark berry flavors are lifted by zesty minerality, with the floral and anise notes picking up steam with air. Finishes very long, with excellent clarity and a touch of smokiness to the echoing red fruit notes. (ST)  (5/2011)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Another good value, although not at the level of his Sonoma Zinfandel, is the 2009 Zinfandel Gold Mine Ranch from Dry Creek. A blend of 98% Zinfandel from 95-year old vines and 2% Carignan, it exhibits meaty, earthy, underbrush notes intermixed with briery red and black fruits. (RP)  (2/2011)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A tightly focused Zin, with raspberry and white pepper aromas that follow through to layered, refined flavors of black cherry and anise. Finishes with ripe, yet minerally, tannins. (TF)  (4/2012)

K&L Notes

Robert M. Parker, Jr. notes that "it is amazing to think that fifteen years ago no one had ever heard of Carlisle Winery and Vineyards or Mike Officer. Moreover, what Officer has done to preserve old vine Zinfandel vineyards in Sonoma is nothing short of astonishing. Add to that success story his sensational lineup of Syrahs, Petite Sirahs and Rhône Ranger blends and it is undeniable that this man and his winery are at the top of their game. These are artisanal, world-class reds that remain among California's most fairly priced high-quality wines... Mike Officer says 2009 is a strong year for his wines, but since he has done nearly everything right, it is hard for me to say his 2009s are better than previous vintages. Certainly he will not have much production in 2010 given all the issues Zinfandel vineyards had in that year. Readers who love these wines are advised to stock up on what is left of the 2008s as well as the upcoming 2009s." (02/2011)

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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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- 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. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 15.4