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.
Papera Vineyard is situated in the Russian River Valley at the intersection of Piner and Olivet 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. I ranked Papera highly in my Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.
Light red in color. Surprisingly light. 15.5% ABV. Exquisite nose of red fruits, peach and citrus. Medium body with perfect acidity. Elegant and fresh with charming bright fruits. Well balanced. Raspberry, salmonberry, blood orange and spice on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Such a unique Carlisle Zinfandel that exemplifies the Claret style. Mike Officer and the treasured Papera Ranch at their very best. Drink over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 94 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.