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 .
Overlooking the Salinas River Valley, the 50-acre Rosella’s Vineyard rests along the benchlands of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. Owners Gary and Rosella Franscioni planted the vineyard in 1996.
Opaque purple in color. 15% ABV. Savory nose of black and blue fruits, olive brine and bacon fat. Full bodied with tremendous acidity and great balance. Rich, lush and very approachable. Black cherry, blueberry liqueur, charred meats and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Glorious California Syrah that has a Northern Rhone feel. Best over the next 4-6 years.
My rating: 94 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 and wrote about that in 2020 Carlisle Zinfandel Barrel Samples With Mike Officer.