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Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel 2007

  • RP94
  • WS91
750ML / 14.9% ABV
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  • RP95
  • JD95
  • WS93
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750ML / 14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Black ruby-purple, almost opaque. The nose offers a veritable cornucopia of berry fruits (boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry) with notes of spice, lavender, and eucalyptus. On the palate, full-bodied but amazingly precise and focused. Stylistically, similar to the 2005, yet more concentrated à la 2004. There have been many great Montafi’s (aka Tom Feeney) over the years but this is surely one of the best.

Blend: 88% Zinfandel, 12% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Petite Sirah)

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2007 Zinfandel Montafi Ranch (88% Zinfandel and 12% mixed blacks from a vineyard planted in 1926) reveals an intoxicating concoction of ground pepper, raspberries, sweet cherries, figs, forest floor, herbs, spice, and blueberries. This big, full-bodied, luscious wine somehow retains its laser-like focus and vivacity.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Impressive, this is both rich and perfectly focused, deftly mixing briary and elegant components. Bright aromas of mixed berry pie are open to ripe, layered flavors of plum, licorice and mint that take on intensity and tannins toward the finish.
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Carlisle

Carlisle

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Carlisle, 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.

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Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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Zinfandel

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. And it fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.

Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly expresses powerful notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often expresses red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics of juniper and menthol.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

KHM350475_2007 Item# 350475