2011 Carlisle "Hayne Vineyard" Napa Valley Zinfandel (Previously $80)

SKU #1151839 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (made from vines planted in 1903 and picked on September 30; bottled with 16% alcohol and a pH of 3.4): Inky ruby. Expansive, floral- and spice-accented aromas of candied black and blue fruits, Indian spices and incense, with a hint of smokiness emerging with air. Viscous in texture but shockingly lively, offering intense, vanilla-accented boysenberry and cassis flavors lifted and supported by juicy acidity. Fine-grained tannins come on late and add grip to a long, sweet finish that echoes the floral note. (ST)  (6/2013)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Another addition to the lineup, the 2011 Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard is laced with expressive dark fruit, smoke, tar, licorice and cedar. Plush, deep, and beautifully balanced, the 2011 finishes with a gorgeous burst of blue and black fruit, violets, graphite and asphalt buttressed by vibrant minerality. This is going to be a fascinating wine to check on once it is in bottle. Originally planted in 1903, Hayne is one of California’s heritage, old-vine sites. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021. (AG)  (4/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Dense yet surprisingly light on its feet, with aromas of toasty berry cobbler and mint that lead to ripe flavors balanced by a solid core of acidity and tannins, plus accents of pepper and bay leaf. Hands off for now. Best from 2015 through 2021. *Top 100 Wines of 2013* (TF)  (10/2013)

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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:

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.