Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

2014 Carlisle Zinfandel Montafi Vineyard – Bottle Notes

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 .

Montafi Vineyard was planted in 1926. Located farther up the eastern bench of the Laguna de Santa Rosa flood plain, bordering the Santa Rosa city limits, this vineyard is mostly Zinfandel but does contain a good amount of Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir. Montafi made my list of Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.

Purple in color. 15% ABV. Perfumed nose of red and black fruits, baking spices and licorice. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Perfect balanced. Packed with dark fruits. Blackberry, raspberry liqueur, anise and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Stunning Zinfandel that has aged exceptionally well. Best over the next year or so.

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 recently and wrote about that in 2020 Carlisle Zinfandel Barrel Samples with Mike Officer.

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