Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.
The September Zinfandel of the Month is the 2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Vineyard.
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. Many of these vineyards are heritage sites planted by Italian immigrants and date back to the late 1800s . They have also recently added their first whites, two blends from historic, old-vine vineyards plus Sonoma County’s first ever Grüner Veltliner.
Many readers ask me how long to age Zinfandel. I would say 4-7 years for most Single Vineyard Designates from the likes of Carlisle, Turley, etc is more than enough. Just to double check myself I opened an 8 year old bottle of Carlisle.
Papera Vineyard is situated in the Russian River Valley and was planted in 1934 by Charlie Papera. Most vineyards from this era are comprised of a number of mixed black varieties. Papera, on the other hand, is 95% Zinfandel.
Bright red in color. 15.2% ABV. Great nose of jammy red and black fruits, pepper and a slight floral component. Supremely balanced with perfect acidity. Ripe and plush. Raspberry liqueur, boysenberry and pepper on the palate. The wine finishes strong. Delicious Zinfandel from one of the best sites in the Russian River Valley. Drink over the next year or so.
My rating: 94 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.
I’ve wrote about Carlisle previously in Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5 and The Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.
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