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 .
Mancini Ranch, planted in 1922, lies kitty-corner from Papera Ranch at the corner of Piner and Olivet Roads. Unlike Papera, this vineyard is relatively mixed in its composition with plenty of Carignane, Abouriou, Valdiguié, Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, and Petite Sirah.
Crimson in color. 15% ABV. 85% Zinfandel and 15% Mixed Blacks. Appealing nose of black and red fruits, citrus and baking spices. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Loaded with bright, juicy fruits. Black cherry, raspberry, blood orange and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Brilliant Zinfandel from a treasured vineyard. 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.