Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel  2014 Front Label
Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel  2014 Front Label

Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel 2014

  • WS96
  • RP95
  • WE93
750ML / 15% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP95
  • JD95
  • WS93
  • W&S91
  • WS94
  • RP92
  • RP94
  • WS91
  • RP94
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750ML / 15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#14 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2016

Knockout, exotic aromas of black raspberry, eucalyptus, blood orange, and sandalwood. Wow! I could sniff this all night! Incredibly well-balanced with flavors of blackberry and black raspberry. Not particularly tannic (Zins rarely are), healthy acidity provides a solid framework for this wine to age and develop. Enjoy this benchmark Zinfandel from 2017 through 2023.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 96
Wine Spectator
Zinfandel doesn't get much better than this. Rich aromas of black raspberry and orange zest open to balanced, complex and luxurious flavors of blackberry, mint and baking spices. A knockout. Drink now through 2027.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I’ll just briefly summarize the 2014s. It was the earliest vintage ever for Mike Officer and probably he’ll beat that early harvest record in 2015. In this case, he was finished by October 6, which was a first, and it will be interesting to see if he eclipses that in 2015, which was looking even earlier. The production levels were relatively abundant for Mike Officer and the wines fruit-forward, although softer and less reserved than some of the 2013s. While not quite as opaque in color, they are loaded with fruit, supple and luscious. The only white wine, the Grüner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard, makes an appearance in 2014, and it’s another beauty – it’s crisp and the only wine in bottle. The other wines all stood out and will, no doubt, merit outstanding ratings across the board for their intensity, richness, and full-bodied power. If you already know what Mike Officer does, and the style of his wines, you won’t be disappointed in his 2014s. You may even like them as much as any vintage, given the fact that this year shows a lot of up-front fruit and charm. Range: 93-95
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
From a ranch planted originally in 1926 this is a knockout wine, exotically spiced and nuanced in pepper, cinnamon and a distinction of sandalwood. High-toned fruit provides a lift to the lushness that wants to dominate, but never does, allowing the tangy orange and blackberry to speak quietly and clearly. Editors' Choice.
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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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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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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. In 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.

Tasting Notes for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a dry red wine, though typically forward in fruit. Notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice are common. Very ripe examples may express a dried fruit quakity like fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often shows red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics like juniper and menthol.

Perfect Food Pairings for Zinfandel

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 Secrets for Zinfandel

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.

PDXCARLMONTZIN_2014 Item# 167238

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