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 January Zinfandel of the Month is the 2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Old Vines.
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.
The 2013 Old Vines is 61% Saiton Ranch planted in 1895 and 39% Banfield Ranch planted in 1881. Primarily Zinfandel with small amounts of Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir.
Bright crimson in color. 15.7% ABV. Soaring nose of red fruits, molten licorice and spice. Fresh and light on its feet with medium acidity. Exceptional balance. Flavors of raspberry, cherry and black pepper. There is a trace of tannins on a medium length finish. Tremendous value at $28 from the winery. Drink over the next 2-4 years.
My rating: 91 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 New Releases from Carlisle Winery.
Carlisle also fared well in The 2015 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.
Lastly I was very humbled to find out Mike Officer reads Zinfandel Chronicles and actually wanted to send me this sample. Thank you Mike!
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