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 added their first whites, two blends from historic, old-vine vineyards plus Sonoma County’s first ever Grüner Veltliner.
Papera Vineyard is situated in the Russian River Valley and was planted in 1934 by Charlie Papera. Most vineyards from this era are comprised of a number of mixed black varieties. Papera, on the other hand, is 95% Zinfandel.
Dark crimson in color. 15.4% ABV. Exquisite nose of black fruits, licorice and white pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Slightly lighter in style than I expect from Carlisle but more likely a reflection of nine years of bottle age. Black raspberry, cream, anise and pepper on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Super Zinfandel from one of the very best vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Drink over the next year or so.
My rating: 92 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.