2009 Carlisle "Carlisle Vineyard" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1112877 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard shows gorgeous purity in its freshly cut roses, sweet red cherries, tobacco, leather and sweet herbs. Here the profile tends towards the redder end of the spectrum. This cooler site within the Russian River yields wines with bright acidity and plenty of freshness. The vines were originally planted in 1927, with 93% Zinfandel and roughly 7% other red varieties. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021. (AG)  (2/2012)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque violet. Room-filling aromas of blackberry, mulberry, Moroccan spices and incense. Then wonderfully bright and sappy in the mouth, with lively acidity giving shape and lift to the intense flavors of dark berries, candied flowers and spicecake. I find this wine utterly hypnotic. Finishes with superb spicy persistence and serious power. Officer told me that 7% of the grapes used for this wine were alicante bouschet, grand noir, petite sirah, peloursin, tempranillo and various other mixed blacks.  (6/2011)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Dense and brooding, with floral boysenberry and licorice aromas and deep, layered flavors of tart blueberry, fresh sage and mineral. Tannins are big but ripe. Needs time. Best from 2013 through 2017.  (2/2012)

K&L Notes

According to Wine Advocate: "This is a fabulous set of wines from Mike Officer and Carlisle. Best of all, the wines remain very reasonably priced considering the quality and passion that goes into the bottle. Along with Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock, Mike Officer is focused on seeking out the finest old-vine sites in California, which have either been neglected over the years, or are being bought by large-scale wineries who have little interest in discovering the quirks of these very old vineyards, most of which are planted with field blends that truly harken back to another era. The wines are made with indigenous yeasts and aged in French oak barrels, usually in the 20-30% range. I tasted all of the 2010s from barrel the day before they were scheduled to be moved into tank." (02/2012, AG)

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Price: $49.99
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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:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.