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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

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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 is home to both Buena Vista winery, California's oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California's oldest family-run winery.

It is also one of the more geologically and climactically diverse districts. The valley includes and overlaps four distinct Sonoma County sub-appellations, including Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley. With mountains, benchlands, plains, abundant sunshine and the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific, this appellation can successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and most notably, Zinfandel all thrive here. Ancient Zinfandel vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit, which in turn make some of the Valley's most unique wines. These can also be made as “field blends” (wines made from a mix of grape varieties grown in the same vineyard) along with Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet.

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 importation to New England by George Gibbs, probably in 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.

KHM355791_2006 Item# 355791