The 2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Montafi Vineyard was the winning bottle in the October installment of Pick My Next Bottle.
Carlisle Winery & Vineyards was founded in 1998 by Mike and Kendall Officer. Their passion is clear: Small lots of Zinfandel and Syrah from exceptional, historic vineyards.
Montafi Vineyard was planted in 1926. Located farther up the eastern bench of the Laguna de Santa Rosa flood plain, bordering the Santa Rosa city limits, this vineyard is mostly Zinfandel but does contain a good amount of Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir de la Calmette. A little Petite Sirah, Peloursin, Syrah, and Petit Bouschet are mixed in as well.
Opaque purple in color. 15.3% ABV. Big, expressive nose of brambly black fruits and a touch of graphite. Rich and plush with tremendous mouthfeel. Great depth to the fruit. Blackberry, raspberry, pepper and a hint of citrus on the palate. The finish is absolutely glorious. Drink over the next 2-4 years. Just about as good as Zinfandel gets!
My rating: 95 points.
Current vintages of the various Carlisle wines are available via the mailing list, which is exceptionally long. Several retail outlets in California stock Carlisle, but you need to check with them at the time the winery releases their wines in the Spring and Fall.
In related news, Seghesio Family Winery recently purchased Montafi Vineyard. It is my understanding Carlisle will still continue to receive fruit for the foreseeable future.
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