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 2020 Sonoma County is sourced from some of the best sights in the valley. Predominantly Pagani with smaller amounts from Papera, Old Hill, Carlisle and Bedrock.
Bright crimson in color. 15% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, citrus and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. There is an abundance of bright, earthy fruits. Exceptional balance. Strawberry, cranberry, blood orange and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Delicious Zinfandel and potentially the best Sonoma County to date. The pedigree of the fruit shines through. Best over the next 2-4 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 recently and wrote about that in The 2022’s Out of Barrel with Mike Officer at Carlisle.