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 .
Rossi Ranch was planted by Carlos Rossi in the early 1900’s and is situated in the Sonoma Valley AVA.
Purple in color. 14.9% ABV. Sublime nose of red and black fruits, black licorice and pepper. Medium body with perfect acidity and balance. Packed with rich, lush fruits. Black cherry, blackberry, chocolate and earth on the palate. The finish is long and supple. Bigger and bolder than most the Zins in the Carlisle lineup. This will drink well for another 3-5 years.
My rating: 91 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.