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.
Cardiac Hill Vineyard, in the Bennett Valley, runs on a very steep hillside at an elevation ranging from 500 to 900 feet hence the peculiar but appropriate name.
Violet in color. 14.2% ABV. Savory nose of black fruits, olive brine, smoked meats and violets. Full bodied with gobs of acidity. Big, bold and extremely complex. Blackberry liqueur, coffee, blood and white pepper on the palate. The finish is long with subtle tannins. This Syrah would be a tremendous ringer in a Northern Rhone tasting. Drink over the next 3-5 years.
My rating: 93 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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