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 .
The vineyard was planted in 1902 and 1903 and is located on the west side of St. Helena at the base of Spring Mountain. Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel goes to Turley and Chase. I wrote about Hayne Vineyard in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.
Crimson in color. 15.9% ABV. Sublime nose of black and red fruits, anise and pepper. Medium to full bodied with strong acidity. The balance is notable. Packed with dark, savory fruits. Black cherry, boysenberry, leather and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Part of me wishes Mike Officer still had access to Hayne Vineyard fruit because there is no question the wine is distinct from the rest of the Carlisle Zinfandel portfolio. This will be best over the next year or so.
My rating: 92 points.
The last vintage of Carlisle Zinfandel from Hayne Vineyard was 2014.
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 2018 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings. I also had a chance to visit Mike Officer recently and wrote about that in An Afternoon at Carlisle Winery.