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 .
Carlisle Vineyard, planted in 1927, lies in the Piner/Olivet area of the Russian River Valley. Around the intersection of these two roads you can find a rare clumping of old vineyards that have somehow survived the last 100+ years. Papera, Mancini, Saitone and Montafi to name a few. The vineyard is approximately 90% Zinfandel and a vast array of other field blend varietals.
I wrote about Carisle Vineyard previously in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.
Dark crimson in color. 15% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, peach and pepper. Medium to full bodied with perfect acidity and balance. Lush, juicy fruits in spades. Raspberry, strawberry, mulberry and pepper on the palate. Nice length on the finish. Delicious Zinfandel that is all about charm and elegance. Best over the next year or so.
My rating: 93 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.