2008 Russian River Valley "Carlisle Vineyard" Zinfandel
13% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Petite Sirah, Peloursin, Tempranillo, and others)
On April 20th, 2008, about eight hours after it hit a record low of 26 degrees, I ventured out into Carlisle Vineyard. Tender, new shoots ranging from two to six inches were brown and limp, devoid of any life. As a result of the damage, our 81 year-old vineyard yielded a mere half-ton to the acre. But if there was a silver lining, it was that fruit quality at harvest has never been higher. Fermented indigenously. Twenty-one days on the skins. All French oak, 29% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Medium-dark ruby-purple. Raspberry and mulberry combine in a complex, perfumed aroma with highlights of rose hip and Asian spice. What a nose! Medium full to full-bodied with an ethereal elegance thanks to vivacious acidity. Flavors of red cherry and black raspberry are complimented by notes of bittersweet chocolate, candied flowers, and white pepper. Very long on the energetic finish. Enjoyable now but best between late 2011 through 2015. (MRO – 08/01/10)