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Flat front label of wine

Carlisle Bennett Valley Syrah 2005

Syrah/Shiraz from Sonoma County, California
  • RP93
15% ABV
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark black-ruby. A deliciously floral nose of violets, lavender, licorice, and black olive. Can you say “Côte-Rôtie”? Quite fleshy on entry but not at all heavy or over the top. Flavors of blackberry, cherry, and olive tapenade are supported by fine tannins and acidity. Concentrated yet elegant. A joy to drink and a wine that we would like to achieve in every vintage.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Syrah Bennett Valley exhibits a distinctive meaty/bacon fat character along with tapenade, blackberries, and cherries. A Cote Rotie-like character is found in this big, rich, fleshy Syrah. Readers should not hesitate to get on Carlisle’s mailing list before the world discovers what compelling beverages are being produced here.
Range: (91-93)+
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Carlisle

Carlisle

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Carlisle, Sonoma County, California
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Carlisle is a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated Zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Petite Sirah). They have also recently added their first whites, two blends from historic, old-vine vineyards plus Sonoma County's first ever Grüner Veltliner. While they like their wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, they also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.

Carlisle's goal is always the same - grow and source outstanding fruit, do as little as possible to it, and bottle outstanding, pleasurable wine at the fairest price possible.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

KHM355717_2005 Item# 355717