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 . Expect to see a Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Montecillo Vinyard and a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in the near future.
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.
Magenta in color. 15.4% ABV. 88% Zinfandel and 12% Mixed Blacks. Sublime nose of black fruits, peach, licorice and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Exceptional balance and purity of fruit. Black cherry, black raspberry, earth and pepper on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. Delicious Zinfandel that has aged brilliantly. The Montafi Zinfandel is consistently one of the top Zins in the Carlisle lineup. Best over the next 1-2 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.
I’ve wrote about Carlisle previously in Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5 and The 2018 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings. I also had a chance to visit Mike Officer recently and wrote about that in An Afternoon at Carlisle Winery.