Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Pagani Ranch

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 2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Pagani Ranch.

I chose this wine as my Zinfandel of the Month as the Carlisle Summer Release is just a little over two weeks away and this wine should be one of the highlights of the offering.

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 also recently released their first Cabernet Sauvignon from Montecillo Vinyard and a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

Pagani Ranch is just off Highway 12 in the Glen Ellen area of Sonoma County. Angela and Felice Pagani came to Sonoma County from Italy, purchased the property and planted the vineyard in the early 1900’s. Norma (Pagani) Amantite still lives in the old farmhouse amidst the vines and her son Dino tends to the vineyard. At present time the fruit goes to Ridge, Biale, Carlisle and Naked Wines.

Crimson in color. 15.4% ABV. Heady nose of red fruits, licorice and citrus. Medium body with ample acidity. Incredibly plush and rich. Cherry, raspberry liqueur, blood orange and a hint of white pepper on the palate. A little more over the top than anything I would normally expect from a Mike Officer Zinfandel. Best over the next year or so.

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 previously wrote about Pagani Ranch in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.

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 An Afternoon at Carlisle Winery.

Tagged , ,

Leave a Comment