2007 Carlisle "Palisades Vineyard" Napa Valley Petite Sirah

SKU #1095162 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Carlisle’s Petite Sirahs are treated like this powerful, but under-appreciated varietal should be. From very old vines, the 2007 Petite Sirah Palisade Vineyard is an amazing example of this varietal that should age for 30+ years. Blueberry, blackberry, camphor, licorice, incense, and graphite notes are followed by a wine with massive concentration and density as well as tremendous purity and depth. Although surprisingly accessible (a characteristic of this vintage), it will unquestionably last for three decades.. Mike Officer is quickly rising to the top of the qualitative pyramid when it comes to Zinfandel, and, more recently, Petite Sirah and Syrah. Working from old vine Zinfandel vineyards in Dry Creek, Sonoma, and Russian River, he is giving some of Napa’s top-notch Zinfandel producers, such as Biale and Turley, a run for their money. Starting as a home winemaker in 1998, Officer is now zeroing in on a 5,000 case production of wines that are poster children for hedonism and exuberant joy. Carlisle’s 2007s reveal that vintage’s luscious fruit. Syrah should be selling better in the marketplace than it does. Perhaps consumers are confused by the ocean of cheap Shiraz from Australia, and fail to recognize how much quality California Syrah offers. Carlisle’s Syrahs are all noteworthy efforts. Brilliant winemaking, a highly committed proprietor, and extraordinarily fair prices make Carlisle a no-brainer for wine consumers looking for fun. (RP)  (12/2008)

94 points Wine Spectator

 This explosive wine delivers a core of concentrated rich blackberry, huckleberry, boysenberry, dark chocolate and ripe red raspberry flavors, with accents of spice, cedar and tobacco. Despite the concentration, this is supple and elegant, with a long finish and a hint of violet aromatics. (MW)  (10/2009)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Glass-staining ruby. Exotically perfumed bouquet of red and dark berries, cherry-cola and dried flowers; no way I'd have picked this as a petite sirah. Sweet black raspberry and blackcurrant flavors display excellent depth and are supported by fine-grained tannins. Becomes more vivacious with air and finishes with impressively pure, sweet dark berries. This is as elegant a rendition of this grape as I can recall tasting. (ST)  (6/2009)

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Price: $59.99
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Petite Sirah

- Once thought to be related to the Rhône's Syrah, it ends up that Petite Sirah is more closely related to the Southern French varietal Durif, which is virtually extinct in France. On the other hand, Petite Sirah thrives in California, where it is prized for its ink-dark color, rich, peppery, black-fruited tannic wine and ability to age. There is even a group passionately devoted to the varietal called PS I Love You. While often bottled varietally, Petite Sirah is also frequently blended with Zinfandel to give that wine structure, and is usually among the varietals planted in the old vine field blends of Northern California. The grape is also grown with some success is South America - Brazil and Argentina, in particular - and in Mexico.

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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.