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 . They have also recently added their first whites, two blends from historic, old-vine vineyards plus Sonoma County’s first ever Grüner Veltliner.
Montafi Vineyard was planted in 1926. Located farther up the eastern bench of the Laguna de Santa Rosa flood plain, bordering the Santa Rosa city limits, this vineyard is mostly Zinfandel but does contain a good amount of Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir.
Crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. 88% Zinfandel and 12% Mixed Blacks. Gorgeous nose of red and black fruits, menthol and wild flowers. Medium to full body with loads of acidity. Vibrant and lush with great mouth feel. Raspberry, blackberry, cocoa and white pepper on the palate. The finish is incredibly long. Montafi is consistently one of the best wines made at Carlisle and this wine is no exception. Perfect now and perhaps for another year or so.
My rating: 94 points.
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.
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