2014 Carlisle "Papera Ranch" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1277805 92-94 points Vinous

 (96% Zinfandel, 4% Carignane) The 2014 Zinfandel Papera Ranch is exuberant, rich and extroverted to the core. Sweet dark cherry, plum, mint, tobacco, cedar, menthol and spices flesh out in a hugely appealing wine endowed with real depth and intensity. The finish is perhaps a bit chunky, but there is so much to like that I can look past that slightly rustic part of the wine's personality. This historic Russian River site was planted in 1934. The blend of 96% Zinfandel and 4% Carignane is unusually high for mixed blacks vineyards planted during this period. 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)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I’ll just briefly summarize the 2014s. It was the earliest vintage ever for Mike Officer and probably he’ll beat that early harvest record in 2015. In this case, he was finished by October 6, which was a first, and it will be interesting to see if he eclipses that in 2015, which was looking even earlier. The production levels were relatively abundant for Mike Officer and the wines fruit-forward, although softer and less reserved than some of the 2013s. While not quite as opaque in color, they are loaded with fruit, supple and luscious...The other wines all stood out and will, no doubt, merit outstanding ratings across the board for their intensity, richness, and full-bodied power. 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)

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Price: $45.99
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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