2011 Carlisle "Bedrock Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1146280 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid ruby. A wild, exotically perfumed bouquet displays scents of candied dark berries, apricot, violet and patchouli. Juicy and expansive in the mouth, offering deeply pitched dark fruit and bitter chocolate flavors and suggestions of pit fruits and cracked pepper. Impressively complex wine, with excellent finishing clarity and subtle, harmonious tannins. (ST)  (6/2013)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard comes across as quite soft, polished and accessible. In 2011, the Bedrock stands out for its accessible personality. It isn’t as big as in some years, but its balance is impeccable. Hints of tobacco, smoke and licorice wrap around the juicy, expressive finish. Today, my impression is that the 2011 is best enjoyed over the next handful of years, as it comes across as just a bit on the frail side. The Bedrock is roughly 92% Zinfandel and 8% mixed blacks, from a site planted in 1888. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. (AG)  (4/2013)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Tightly wound and slightly rustic, with exotic aromas of licorice, orange zest and spice cake, showing concentrated wild berry, cracked pepper and toasted sage flavors. Needs time. Best from 2015 through 2022. (TF)  (11/2013)

Jancis Robinson

 Carlisle generally pick earlier than some others in Bedrock Vineyard. 92% Zinfandel and 8% Mixed Black (field blend including Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet), these blocks planted in 1888. TA 6.5 g/l, pH 3.6. Minerally dark fruit. Fine dusty overlay. On the palate, rich and very unusual flavour -- blueberry and fresh nuts too. (I wondered if there was some unusual oak here but, according to Mike Carlisle, it is Nadalie French oak and only 18% new.) Soft, a little tangy/peppery. Gentle and complex and then a fine acidity on the finish. Tangy citrus aftertaste. 17/20 points. (JH)  (11/2013)

K&L Notes

This is only the third vintage of Bedrock Vineyard Zinfandel from Zin master Mike Officer, who's attracted a dedicated following for this wines the slow and steady way. Fun facts about the Bedrock Vineyard: It was founded in 1854 as an investment (boondoggle?) by some restless entrepreneurs by the names of William Sherman and Joseph Hooker, a.k.a. "Tecumseh" and "Fightin' Joe," nearly a decade before they were called back east to take care of some other business. But the oldest vines in the vineyard are not as old as all that; they were replanted in 1888 by Senator George Hearst.

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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).
Alcohol Content (%): 15.8