2011 Carlisle "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1143655 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard is surprisingly soft and supple for a wine from this historic hillside vineyard. The dark, charred, mineral-laden notes that are typical of this site are present, but very much in the background today. The 2011 surprises for its juiciness, which nearly covers the mountain tannins. Blue and black fruits, cloves, violets and camphor add complexity on the plush, inviting finish. The 2011 appears to have at least good mid-term aging potential. It is yet another standout in a portfolio full of highlights. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. (AG)  (4/2013)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated ruby. Displays assertive aromas of black and blue fruit liqueur, anise, potpourri and peppery spices. Plush, palate-coating boysenberry and cassis flavors of outstanding density and energy are complemented by suggestions of candied lavender, vanilla and allspice. Silky tannins make a late appearance and are quickly absorbed by the wine's intensely concentrated fruit. This one won't let go of the the palate. According to Officer these vines are 125 years old. (ST)  (6/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator

 ***Highly Recommended*** A complete package, with deep and distinctive fruit and a focused core of balanced acidity and tannins. Aromas of dark cherry, spice cake and clay lead to layered plum, cinnamon and fennel flavors. Drink now through 2022. (TF)  (10/2013)

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Price: $49.99
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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.


- 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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).