2009 Russian River Valley "Carlisle Vineyard" Zinfandel
7% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Petite Sirah, Peloursin, Tempranillo, and others)
After the devastating frost of 2008, yields of these 82-year-old vines bounced back nicely in 2009 to 1.6 tons to the acre. This was certainly one of the more nerve-racking picks of the year, finishing under stormy skies just hours before the heavens opened up. After a five-day cold soak, the must was inoculated with two different strains of yeast. Fourteen days later the wine was pressed to all French oak, 25% new. As usual, bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Medium-dark to dark violet-ruby. Heady aromas of mulberry, raspberry, brier, pepper, and incense spill from the glass. Serious stuff! The wine glides smoothly across the palate with lively acidity giving delineation to the bright raspberry and Asian spice flavors. Amazingly well balanced for such a powerful wine. Carlisle Vineyard always seems to produce a wine that benefits from at least several years of aging. This rendition is no exception. Drink from 2013 through 2020. (MRO – 09/25/11)