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 Vintage2010 Label 1 of 6 
ProducerCarlisle (web)
DesignationOld Vines
SubRegionSonoma County
AppellationRussian River Valley

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2013 and 2018 (based on 9 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Carlisle Zinfandel Russian River Valley Old Vines on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 91.2 pts. and median of 91 pts. in 95 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 1/30/2016: My last bottle, drinking at 65f and it's cellar cool as I opened it about 30 mins ago. The aromatic has a fruit bowl character, like a blend of ripe fruit that lifts out of the glass. No heat, though. The core of this wine is pretty large, full of boysen and cherry fruit, with a syrup note. What I mean is that the ripeness of the fruit here gives the wine a berry flavor that comes off with a sweetness. And, there is some fuel in this wine, as I had a large bowl of chili with it and I can already feel the alc hitting my body with just a few ozs, even with the food. The finish shows a zip of acidity that buffers the fruit and keeps it fresh, some light chocolate, sweet earthy cherry, blackberry, a lot of flavor. I like the flavors but the alc I can feel and I won't be able to enjoy more than say a glass or so....Day 2, same tasting context. The alcohol is now present in the aromatic, joined with the fruit. It's got a bit more of the cherry syrup feeling and it's warm. This bottle isn't doing it for me, given it's fuel and richer edges and yet I know others will like it. (396 views)
 Tasted by sawira on 11/1/2015 & rated 94 points: #3 of 4. Last bottle was definitely an aberration. This is brilliant - has that "grapesickle" flavor profile I adore. Huge, crisp and deep black and red fruits, a perfectly balancing dose (not insubstantial) of delicious vanillin oak, massive mid-palate and quite adequate length. No imbalance or overt etoh. Awesome. At a beautiful peak now, and for another year or two. Up there with some of Mike's best, and this from a hugely challenging vintage. I kind of like the blend of Montafi's huge black fruited brashness, with the precision, cut and clarity of the Carlisle. Killer bottle.
Next night. This seems to be cracking up a bit and shows some disjointedness and heat on the finish. Drink soon. I'd call this 94 pts at its peak, and if drunk soon. (631 views)
 Tasted by snarfglk on 8/27/2015 & rated 91 points: This was a fabulous zinfandel with a whopping 15.9% alcohol! Felt, rather than tasted the heat (later). A great zin. (652 views)
 Tasted by btock on 8/25/2015 & rated 90 points: Looking for a bottle to note a b-day and the prominent use of the word "old" in this one off bottling seemed to fit the bill. An interesting blend from the two sites. I think in the end I like the single vineyard expressions better (let the power of Montafi and purity of Carlisle stand alone) but a very nice zin. Well balanced and improved in the glass as the night went on. Core red/purple fruit, nice backbone, no rough edges! Good now, but could hold a couple years longer. (645 views)
 Tasted by DSimmons on 7/14/2015 & rated 94 points: First of these last night. Sweet! Open the bottle about an hour before drinking. Classic zin. (1070 views)
 Tasted by Ridgerunner on 6/20/2015 & rated 93 points: This bottle just sort of pushes the bar a bit higher! Really everything you want from a Zinfandel. (947 views)
 Tasted by mrmedoes on 4/30/2015 & rated 89 points: Not my favorite Carlisle. A nice wine, and definitely enjoyable, but lacks the character of other 2010s. Bigger fruit than most, lacking the acid that most of their efforts carry (and what I believe makes them so special for the price). Definitely has some life ahead of it and I will be holding under the hope that the typical Carlisle character comes around. (938 views)
 Tasted by dougie on 3/22/2015 & rated 92 points: Surprised how much it changed over 4 hours. Rustic to fruity to balanced. (751 views)
 Tasted by gzim on 3/22/2015 & rated 92 points: Great round mouth, with red spicy berry dark aromatics and a great finish. bummed it was my last '10 Old Vines. This wine will continue for years to come. (854 views)
 Tasted by gzim on 12/27/2014 & rated 90 points: Crimson red, not as dark as many Zins. Dark red berry fruit, a touch of smoke and white pepper, but this wine is totally primary right now. I'd say wait another 5 years to see how much this can offer. Beautiful mouthfeel, (823 views)
 Tasted by budman on 10/23/2014 & rated 90 points: Pleasant blend. Very good wine, although I can see why Mike declassified it. (721 views)
 Tasted by wineismylife on 10/20/2014 & rated 93 points: WIML93

Tasted non blind.

Dark garnet color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of dried herbs, plums and berries. Flavors of berries, raspberries and cherries. Medium acidity, medium tannin, full bodied. Drink or hold. (1190 views)
 Tasted by mdaniel on 10/11/2014 & rated 91 points: Pop n Pour: Mike Officer can't make a bad wine. This is a wonderfully balanced Zin with a long finish that is peppery, but not too much so. An absolute pleasure to drink. (906 views)
 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 9/21/2014: Boy, this is in a good place. Went down so easy, terrific fruit and flavor and aromatics. (1297 views)
 Tasted by mtolerico on 9/20/2014 & rated 93 points: Complex and great balance, this is what Zin should taste like, period! (1031 views)
 Tasted by levinml on 8/20/2014 & rated 92 points: Better this time than the previous bottle I'd had. This one was a nice weekday drinker, consistently good over three nights under pump. A little alcohol on the nose, but love the zin flavors. (1004 views)
 Tasted by Vinsant on 8/8/2014: Drank very well with pulled pork tacos topped with bell peppers, pineapple, and feta. Big, bold, and balanced. Nice depth. Dark fruit, red fruit, spice, vanilla, and a note that was similar to the pineapple. Has time but drinking very well right now. (894 views)
 Tasted by Rmonty on 6/8/2014 & rated 94 points: Ruby color, with slight haze. Aromas of raspberry sorbet & all spice. Fresh picked berries of mulberry, & boysenberry, bramble and sweet rhubarb pie with fresh, baked crust. Hint of black tea on lengthy finish. Outstanding! (904 views)
 Tasted by Screameagle on 5/17/2014 & rated 91 points: A really nice zin that is drinking great right now. Why wait. We loved it. (1486 views)
 Tasted by jaumealaska on 3/30/2014 & rated 91 points: love the style, bright acid and spice in the nose (844 views)
 Tasted by alanr on 3/10/2014 & rated 89 points: This is quite ripe/jammy on the nose, on the palate as well, with intense , flavorful black boysenberry, rich and lively, with plenty of acidity to keep it in check and well balanced. Needs some rich food, BBQ, pizza to keep it company. I would recommend drinking more in the short term, not holding for any great length. (924 views)
 Tasted by madeiradog on 1/28/2014 & rated 90 points: Still very young but expressive. Needs additional time to smooth out the edges. A very complex zin with a nose of tobacco and a melange of berries and maybe a slight floral hint in the background. On the palate it is very big but restrained. Has a touch of heat but not overwhelming. (1673 views)
 Tasted by Sellar Rat on 1/16/2014 & rated 91 points: Pure zin nose of boysenberry and bramble. Pretty much carries through on the palate. Rich, grapey and not terribly complex, but very well balanced and a pure pleasure. No mistaking this for anything but Cali Zin. Papera Ranch's little brother... (1593 views)
 Tasted by rdf58 on 12/29/2013 & rated 93 points: Still youthful but drinking well. Loads of dark cherry and chocolate/mocha notes coming through, minimal oak. Fruit forward character is balanced by the acidity. Somewhat rich and full bodied but it comes across as superbly balanced. Terrific example of RRV Zin. (1356 views)
 Tasted by nectar14 on 12/16/2013 & rated 90 points: Ruby purple, pink edges. Typical Carlisle Zin nose of raspberry and black cherry, mild oak. Higher-pitched and slightly tart on the palate, but still richly fruity. Medium length finish. (1517 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2012, IWC Issue #162
(Carlisle Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Russian River Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (manage subscription channels)

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Producer website

We are 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). While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.
Rich. Lusty. Hedonistic. These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines. However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex. Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds. Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult. We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.


ZAP: Zinfandel Advocates & Producers | Varietal character (Appellation America) | Wikipedia-Zinfandel

Old Vines

Old Vine/Vieilles Vignes (Wikipedia)


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Sonoma County

Sonoma County Vintners

Russian River Valley

Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association | Wikipedia

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