2013 Carlisle "The Derivative" Sonoma County White Blend
*Editor's Choice* This marks another stunning vintage for this blend of 55% Sémillon, 25% Muscadelle, 10% Palomino and 10% Colombard, made by Zin master Mike Officer. Pungent in pear and pineapple, it has cutting-edge minerality, a taste of slate, and remains at turns creamy and crisp on the palate. This wine is unusual in all the right ways yet triumphantly delicious.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
While highly recognized for his red winemaking ability, Mike Officer can certainly do nice things with white grapes, too. He never picks easy ones, though. The 2013 Proprietary White The Derivative is a blend of 55% Semillon, 16% Muscadelle, 16% Colombard and 13% Palomino. The result is a delicious old-vine blend that is dry, has modest alcohol (14.3%), shows loads of delicious white citrus and a hint of floral notes, medium body, and a zesty, rather naked feel. Some new oak was used in the fermentation of the Semillon, but the wine generally spent most of its time in neutral containers. It’s hard to compare this to anything I’ve ever had, but I suppose the Semillon character drives it more than the other components, and that is probably your best frame of reference. It is certainly fairly priced and well-made. (RP) The personality-filled Michael Officer and his beloved Carlisle Winery & Vineyards continues to turn out a gorgeous portfolio of exuberant, lovingly made, stunningly fruity and outright beautiful wines from historic vineyards and iconic grapes that, until the last generation or so, had tended to be forgotten in the early days of California winedom, after the repeal of Prohibition...Carlisle’s 2013s are spectacular, as one would expect, and at the end of these notes I quickly summarize his beautiful 2014s, which are probably going to be even fruitier and much more approachable once in bottle than his more concentrated and profound 2013s.