2009 Carlisle "Gold Mine Ranch" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(15.4% alcohol and just 8% new oak): 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)
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)
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)
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 line-up of Syrahs, Petite Sirahs and Rhone 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. Following is a look at the 2008s from bottle as well as a preview of the charming, seductive 2009s. 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."