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 .
Bedrock Vineyard, formerly known as Madrone Ranch, was first planted in 1854. Senator George Hearst purchased the property in 1888 and planted most of the vines that exist to this day. Located in the Sonoma Valley the vineyard is also a fruit source for Turley, Robert Biale, Limerick Lane, Carlisle and Bedrock of course.
Crimson in color. 15.4% ABV. Stunning nose of red fruits, licorice, citrus and peach. Medium body with medium acidity. Claret style Zinfandel with perfect balance. Cherry, blood orange and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Far afield from what I expected but still incredibly compelling. Best over the next several 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 recently and wrote about that in 2020 Carlisle Zinfandel Barrel Samples with Mike Officer.