2011 Carlisle "The Derivative" Sonoma County White Blend

SKU #1152286 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (66% semillon, 24% muscadelle and 10% chasselas): Light, bright gold. Fresh lemon, pear and pungent herb scents are brightened by zesty minerals. Concentrated, focused and deep, with strong citrus pith, orchard fruit and tarragon flavors sharpened by notes of bitter quinine and green tea. Gains weight with aeration but at no expense of vivacity. Strikes a suave balance of finesse and power, finishing with an exotic floral flourish and excellent length. (ST)  (6/2013)

90 points Vinous

 Carlisle's 2011 White Wine The Derivative is a blend of Semillon, Muscadelle and Palomino, a modern-day version of Hock, a white blend that was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Almonds, hazelnuts, dried flowers, mint and licorice all blossom in an inviting, textured white long on personality and class. Dried flowers, honey and mint add nuance on the finish. It is amazing to consider that these vineyards were planted between 1886 and 1920. (AG)  (2/2014)

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Price: $29.99

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Varietal:

Semillon

- A rich, viscous, full-flavored but subtly-scented and botrytis-prone white grape, Sémillon reaches magical heights when infected with "noble rot" and combined with even small amounts of the aromatic and high-acid Sauvignon Blanc to make Sauternes, one of the world's most revered and longest-lived wines, and in the sweet wines of surrounding regions like Barsac. Sémillon's most famous incarnation is in the wines of Château d'Yquem, one of the world's most expensive wines, and one that has been known to evolve for centuries. It frequently dominates, but not by much, in the oak-aged whites of Bordeaux's Graves and Pessac-Léognan, creating honeyed and viscous wines that are unlike any others. Elsewhere in Bordeaux and around France it takes on a supporting role in the wines of Entre-Deux-Mers and the Médoc. While planted throughout France, Europe, California and Washington, Sémillon's role as underling usually keeps it out of the spotlight with a few winery-specific exceptions. However, the grape is allowed to shine in Australia's Hunter Valley, where it is used to make an elegant dry wine often called, perplexingly, Hunter Valley Riesling. It also makes some incredible dry, oaked wines from the Barossa and lovely stickies in the style of Sauternes.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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).