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.
Martinelli Road Vineyard is located on Martinelli Road between Forestville and Guerneville and dates back to the 1880’s. Interestingly, unlike most vineyards of this era, Martinelli Road Vineyard is nearly 100% Zinfandel.
Violet in color. 15.8% ABV. Sensational nose of red and blue fruits, flowers and licorice. Full bodied with just enough acidity. Big, dense and concentrated. Blueberries, cherries and white pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish with just a touch of heat. Delicious Zinfandel but missing some of the freshness I have come to expect from Carlisle. The bar is set so high here. 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.