Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The new Carlisle releases are in!
Twice a year we get some fantastic, highly allocated wine from producer-extraordinaire, Mike Officer. There is very little to go around and he has a rabid following. Here is what Robert Parker has said about him “... dedicated to serious winemaking from old vineyard sites...” and “... these are all big, but incredibly well-balanced, fresh wines. Officer is not afraid to push ripeness to the edge, but, remarkably, the wines are never over the top, revealing tremendous textures, aromatics, and ripeness. He has become one of the top three or four Zinfandel producers in northern California, and also demonstrates a sure hand with Syrah and some of the old field blends planted by Italian immigrants over a century ago.”
2007 Carlisle Winery Zinfandel Papera Ranch Russian River $39.99
(93 Points: International Wine Cellar) Glass-staining purple. A compelling bouquet of black raspberry, blueberry, sandalwood incense and potpourri is strikingly pure and expansive. Deep, energetic red and dark berry flavors manage to be both powerful and graceful, with silky tannins providing structure and back-end grip. I wouldn't hesitate to drink this sexy wine now but I'd bet it will reward another four or five years of patience.
2006 Carlisle Syrah Bennett Valley Cardiac Hill $42.99
(94 Points: International Wine Cellar) Deep ruby. Captivating aromas of red- and blackcurrant, smoked meat, olive and minerals remind me of a serious Cote-Rotie. Rich black raspberry and cassis flavors are complicated by cracked pepper, olive and candied violet, with silky tannins lending support and focus. The floral qualities gain strength on the finish, which is strikingly focused and very long. For this wine's quality, the price is a steal.
If you have yet to try one, well, we got 'em.