2014 Carlisle "Papera Ranch" Russian River Valley Zinfandel
(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)
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)
Well-knit and precise, with a core of lively acidity and tannins to balance the ripe fruit, showing notes of blackberry, dark fruitcake spices, sandalwood and pepper. Drink now through 2028.