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 . Carlisle also recently released their first Cabernet Sauvignon from Montecillo Vinyard and a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
Rossi Ranch was planted by Carlos Rossi in the early 1900’s and is situated in the Sonoma Valley AVA.
Ruby red in color. 15.4% ABV. Lovely nose of red fruits, peach and baking spices. Medium body with perfect acidity. Elegant, charming and well balanced. Cherry, salmonberry, earth and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Compelling Zinfandel made in a style that I absolutely adore. Best over the next 2-3 years.
My rating: 92 points.
I can make an argument that Carlisle is the best Zinfandel producer in the state of California. 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 2020 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings. I also had a chance to visit Mike Officer recently and wrote about that in An Afternoon at Carlisle Winery.