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 .
The Piner-Olivet Ranches bottling is a relatively new Zinfandel in the Carlisle portfolio. The wine is a blend of vineyards near the intersection of Piner and Olivet in the Russian River Valley.
Crimson in color. 15% ABV. Mostly Carlisle Vineyard fruit but also includes fruit from Papera Ranch and Montafi Vineyard. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, peach, licorice and pepper. Medium body with perfect acidity. Bursting with bright, juicy red fruits. Cherry, strawberry, raspberry and pepper on the palate. The finish is long and silky. This wine embodies everything I love about Russian River Valley Zinfandel. Best over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 93 points.
The 2021 version of this wine should be released early next year. I will buy a healthy amount.
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.