Carlisle New Releases, and a few thoughts

2006 Carlisle Winery Zinfandel Sonoma County
Red Wine; Zinfandel; Sonoma;
$19.98
Add to Cart
2006 Carlisle Winery Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley
Red Wine; Zinfandel; Sonoma;
$32.98
Add to Cart
2006 Carlisle Winery Syrah Russian River Valley
Red Wine; Syrah/Shiraz; Sonoma;
$32.98
Add to Cart
With the Carlisle wines, we usually just send out an email saying, “Here they are. Buy soon, if you actually want some.” BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, RIGHT? You hear that all the time from us. In our defense we do focus on the small production stuff. If you hear us claiming that we have limited quantities of Yellow Tail or Veuve Cliquot, you would have reason to be suspicious, but I assure you we’re on the level. There isn’t much in terms of inventory, and Carlisle wines disappear without our saying much. However, I think we need to take the time every once in a while to remind everybody why we’re behind the wines we carry. Even wines that sell themselves. Even Carlisle. After all this is a small operation devoted to quality, like us. And what quality it is!

Since I work in a store with so many French wines, my sensibility tends toward restraint. I end up being pretty critical of the California wines that are presented to us. In fact, I’m probably a little too hard on some of the wines. A lot of wines get dinged for high alcohol, extraction, or over-ripeness, and that’s just how it is. That said, the Carlisle wines are not meek wines. They are robust and rich, and I think they are some of the most delicious wines being made in California. There is a certain refinement here even though we’re dealing with powerful Zinfandel and Rhone varieties. I imagine it comes from a perfectionist streak running through Mr. Officer.

And let’s talk about Mike Officer. The man lowers the price on a wine that he considers one of his best versions to date simply because he made a little more, and he wants to fight the idea that California wines are too expensive. The fact is he could easily charge $10 extra per bottle simply because the label says Carlisle. Not to mention the raves that Parker always heaps on the wines. The two more expensive offerings are a great deal, so when the Sonoma County comes out at $19.98, we can only reckon this is a price offered by a winemaker who genuinely wants to share his craft with as many people as possible. With that in mind, please limit your initial order to no more than four of each wine. We’d like to share these wines with all customers who are interested. If you would like more, just mention it in the customer comments section or send us an email.

Back to Carlisle. You can taste “perfectionist” in the wines. Not in an overbearing, tinkering too much way, instead this is someone who insists on quality everywhere. The attention to details doesn’t necessarily tame the wildness of Zin and Syrah, it adds a certain ‘fineness’, allowing the wine to exist on two seemingly contradictory levels. These are some of the most regal power-driven wines out there. And they show no signs of letting up. The motto of this winery seems to be, “We will never be finished making our wines better.” To me, that is the way it should be. And that’s why we keep selling these wines and asking for more than they can give us. – Ben Jordan

2006 Carlisle Winery Zinfandel Sonoma County
Red Wine; Zinfandel; Sonoma;
$19.98
Add to Cart
“Officer’s 2006 Zinfandel Sonoma (which comes from multiple sites and is his largest production wine – a whopping 860 cases) exhibits the ripeness of the vintage, with huge blueberry and raspberry fruit notes along with some earth, underbrush, and pepper. The wine has flashy aromatics, a full-bodied mouthfeel, and good underlying acidity, but the lushness and intensity will make it quite a stunning wine to drink now and over the next 5-7 years. 91-93 Points.” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #174.
2006 Carlisle Winery Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley
Red Wine; Zinfandel; Sonoma;
$32.98
Add to Cart
“The 2006 Zinfandel Dry Creek, whose largest proportion comes from the Teldeschi Ranch (planted in 1885), is blended with 14% Petite Sirah. Like most of these Zinfandels, this wine sees 25-35% new oak and, of course, is bottled unfiltered. The wine has a distinct terroir character to it – earthy, spicy, with a strong underlying mineral/steely component, some delicious sweet cherry jam notes as well as some blacker fruits. On the mouth, the wine has fabulous fruit, is full-bodied, relatively supple-textured, and beautifully pure and long. 90-92 Points.” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #174.
2006 Carlisle Winery Syrah Russian River Valley
Red Wine; Syrah/Shiraz; Sonoma;
$32.98
Add to Cart
“The 2006 Syrah Russian River, which is 100% Syrah with 25% whole clusters used, displays impressive fruit, and plenty of roasted meat and herbal notes that are dominated by the blackberry and cassis fruit of this wine. Some creosote and tar also make an appearance in this full-throttle, juicy Syrah. 91-93 Points.” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #174.
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