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Carlisle Piner-Olivet Ranches Zinfandel 2016

  • V94
  • RP93
  • WS93
  • JD93
750ML / 15% ABV
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  • JD93
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750ML / 15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Medium-dark ruby-garnet. Very lifted, perfumed aromas of cherries, red licorice whips, sandalwood, and blood orange. The nose provides everything you could hope for in a Russian River Valley Zinfandel. Impeccably balanced, flavors of red cherry, mulberry, and baking spices build through the mineral-laden, zesty finish. A beautiful wine but as a blend of Carlisle, Papera, and Montafi, how could it not be? Give it another year in bottle and then enjoy from 2019 through 2028.

Critical Acclaim

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V 94
Vinous
An addition to this range, the 2016 Zinfandel Piner-Olivet Ranches is a blend of fruit from three sites in the Piner-Olivet district within the Russian River Valley that are also bottled individually: Papera, Carlisle and Montafi. The interplay of rich fruit and bright, salivating acidity is compelling. Deceptively medium in body, the 2016 packs a serious punch. Raspberry, blood orange and mint are all beautifully articulated in this very pretty, spirited Zinfandel. This is an absolutely gorgeous wine from Carlisle, and one of my personal favorites in the range. Don't miss it. 91-94 points
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Zinfandel Piner-Olivet Ranches has intense notes of raspberry preserves, kirsch, black cherries and blood orange with wafts of sandalwood and Indian spices plus a hint of underbrush. Very big, rich and full, it is completely packed with red and black fruit preserves flavors, with a lovely velvety texture and great freshness, finishing long and perfumed.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Expressive and zesty, yet refined, with floral raspberry and blueberry flavors accented by spicy cinnamon, licorice and stony mineral notes. Drink now through 2024.
JD 93
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Zinfandel Piner-Olivet Ranches is from Russian River sites and is 91% Zinfandel and the rest a mix of varieties. As with most of Mike’s wines, it was brought up mostly in neutral barrels and was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Outstanding notes of cassis, spice box, plums, earth, and violets all give way to a plump, seamless blend that has lots of ripeness as well as charm. It's balanced and already drinking nicely yet should evolve gracefully. This beauty has a distinctly umami character that keeps you coming back to the glass.
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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.

HENCARPOZ16_2016 Item# 506250

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