Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.
The July Zinfandel of the Month is the 2019 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County.
I chose this wine as the Zinfandel of the Month in advance of the release of the ’20 vintage later this month. I had a chance to try the ’20 late last year and it is the best Sonoma County Zin that Mike Officer has ever made. Buy all you can off the mailing list and some of you not on the mailing list might even be able to find the Sonoma County at retail. This wine is in the conversation for best value Zinfandel with the likes of Turley Old Vines and Bedrock Old Vines.
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.
Bright crimson in color. 15% ABV. From a variety of vineyards including Rossi Ranch and Pagani Ranch. Pretty nose of red fruits, peach and baking spices. Medium to full bodied with mouth watering acidity. Light, crisp and refreshing. Cherry, salmonberry, tobacco and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Really charming Zinfandel that goes down easy. Best over the next 3-4 years.
My rating: 92 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.