2012 Carlisle "Rosella's Vineyard" Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah

SKU #1190634 93-95 points Vinous

 Carlisle's 2012 Syrah Rosella's Vineyard is a totally seamless wine with no beginning or end. Sweet floral notes meld into dark red and black fruit in a rich, explosive wine endowed with gorgeous depth and balance. The whole clusters add lift, perfume and brightness in a vivid, highly expressive Syrah loaded with distinction. This is a fabulous showing from Mike Officer and Jay Maddox, who seem to get more out of this fruit than the overwhelming majority of their colleagues. (AG)  (2/2014)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Mike's 2012 Syrah Rosella's Vineyard, which saw 25% whole clusters and 16 months in 22% new French oak, sports an inky purple color to go with fabulous cassis and blackberry fruits, crushed-rock minerality, pepper and liquid-violet aromas and flavors. It has a slightly cool climate feel, but has serious depth and richness on the palate, with a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, solid concentration and supple, voluptuous texture that will allow it to drink nicely on release. It should evolve gracefully for over a decade. (JD)  (10/2014)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky purple. Heady aromas of dark berry preserves, incense and candied flowers, with a bright mineral topnote. Sweet and velvety in texture, offering intense blackberry and boysenberry flavors that gain spiciness in the glass. Shows impressive energy on the gently tannic, very persistent finish, with the dark berry note echoing strongly.  (5/2014)

K&L Notes

From Robert Parker: "One of the great success stories in Northern California is the genesis of Carlisle Winery, whose owner, Mike Officer, began as a wine hobbiest / software developer and grew into a full-time wine producer who has done more to save head-pruned, old-vine Zinfandel vineyards than anyone else in the United States. He built his reputation on full-flavored red wines and continues to fine-tune these beauties, often field blends of what are generically referred to as 'mixed blacks' planted primarily by Italian immigrants prior to Prohibition." (eRobertParker.com #216)

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Price: $49.99

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

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:

Santa Lucia Highlands