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Flat front label of wine

Carlisle Rossi Ranch Zinfandel 2006

Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP94
  • WS90
15.9% ABV
  • WS93
  • RP92
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15.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Medium-dark ruby-red. Hi-toned aromas of red cherries, orange rind, and bittersweet chocolate. Quite smooth on entry, the wine quickly coats the palate but never becomes dull or heavy thanks to invigorating tannins on the finish. Age-worthy. A recently opened bottle showed no signs of deterioration after five days on the counter.

Blend: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Alicante Bouschet

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Rating 92-94. The 2006 Zinfandel Rossi Ranch, which is a blend of 95% Zinfandel and 5% Alicante Bouschet from a vineyard planted in 1910, is a brilliant wine, dark ruby/purple-tinged with almost head-spinning levels of ground pepper, roasted Provencal herbs, black cherry, raspberry, and even blacker fruits. The wine hits the palate with admirable minerality, full-bodied opulence, and stunning purity and texture. This is a superb Zinfandel that will make a believer of even those in the anti-Zinfandel crowd. It is a beauty that should drink nicely for at least a decade. Sadly, the production is tiny.
Range: 92-94
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Big and chunky, but complex, with wild berry and bittersweet chocolate aromas and concentrated blueberry, sage and smoky licorice flavors that finish with ripe but rustic tannins.
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Carlisle

Carlisle

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Carlisle, Sonoma Valley, 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 Valley

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Perhaps the most historically significant appellation in Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley AVA was first planted with vines by Franciscan monks in 1823. It was the site of one of California’s first successful commercial wineries, and the region where French oak barrels were first utilized for aging California wines, thus creating the rich and voluptuous style of Chardonnay the state has become known for.

This geologically and climactically diverse district is capable of producing a wide variety of wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and, most notably, Zinfandel, where ancient vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit. These are commonly produced as “field blends” along with Petite Sirah, Carignan, and other dark-fruited varieties.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

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 vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

KHM355791_2006 Item# 355791