2014 Carlisle "Old Vines" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1277804 91-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 If you already know what Mike Officer does, and the style of his wines, you won’t be disappointed in his 2014s. You may even like them as much as any vintage, given the fact that this year shows a lot of up-front fruit and charm. (RP)  (10/2015)

91-93 points Vinous

 The 2014 Zinfandel Old Vine is another superb, entry-level wine from Carlisle and proprietor Mike Officer. Succulent and expressive, the 2014 offers tons of near and medium-term appeal in the forward, fruit-driven style that is the signature of the Russian River. A host of sweet red cherry and plum notes wrap around plush, inviting finish. The vineyard sites are Banfield, Saitone, Carlisle, Montafi and Papera. Proprietor Mike Carlisle and his longtime winemaker/viticulturist Jay Maddox excel with Zinfandel and Mixed Blacks bottlings from a number of historic sites, most of them scattered throughout Sonoma County. Officer describes 2014 as a vintage with lower alcohols than normal and stable weather through the end of the season, which allowed for harvesting at a leisurely pace. The 2014s are gorgeous across the board. In keeping with the style of the year, the Zinfandel-based wines are aromatically bright and focused. As always, Carlisle delivers exceptional value, something that is so rare today. (AG)  (1/2016)

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Price: $29.99
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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 15