The 2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch was the winning bottle in the May Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. I did not decant the wine and it was absolutely perfect with grilled brats and homemade pasta salad.
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.
Crimson in color. 15.3% ABV. Sublime nose of red fruits, anise and herbs. Wicked acidity and exceptional balance. Claret style Zinfandel with remarkable purity of fruit. Raspberry liqueur, kirsch, salmonberry and pepper on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long and spicy. Certainly the best Papera from Carlisle and perhaps the Papera ever made although I would love to try the ’09 Williams Selyem version again. Best over the next 2-4 years.
My rating: 95 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.