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 .
2016 was the first vintage for the Piner-Olivet Zinfandel. The intersection of Piner and Olivet in the Russian River Valley is home to some of the best Old Vine Zinfandel vineyards in the state. This vintage includes Zinfandel from Papera, Montafi and Carlisle. I know future vintages included Mancini Ranch as well.
I wrote about Papera, Montafi and Carisle vineyards previously in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.
Crimson in color. 15% ABV. 67% Papera, 26% Carlisle and 7% Montafi. Sensational nose of red fruits, licorice, baking spices and citrus. Medium body with mouthwatering acidity. Packed with bright, juicy red fruits. Exceptionally well balanced. Cherry, raspberry, blood orange and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Best over the next 2-4 years.
My rating: 94 points.
The 2020 version of this wine was on the recent Carlisle mailer and is an absolute steal at just $32 a bottle. I hope you bought yours!
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 and wrote about that in 2020 Carlisle Zinfandel Barrel Samples With Mike Officer.