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 Vintage2005 Label 1 of 5 
ProducerCarlisle (web)
SubRegionSonoma County
AppellationBennett Valley
OptionsShow variety and appellation

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2009 and 2016 (based on 18 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Carlisle Syrah Bennett Valley on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 91 pts. and median of 91 pts. in 76 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by bdeblank on 9/11/2015 & rated 92 points: At a nice place. Dry tannins, good primary fruit. Mellow. Very good when first opened but better several hours later. By then, some fruit had faded and secondary notes of earth. (355 views)
 Tasted by jpmo on 7/20/2014: Some seepage around the cork. An off flavor like an over the hill bordeaux. May just have been a bad bottle. (1228 views)
 Tasted by Mlermontov on 7/3/2014 & rated 92 points: it was a hot day and that surely affected the tasting. thus i put the + there. I think in non-sauna situation it would have shown even better.

ripe black fruit. great primary fruit all the way through but with secondary notes coming in. Refreshing and long on the finish. ripe tannins with still some grip. chewy mid, creamy. this is excellent. (1205 views)
 Tasted by JFish on 4/13/2014: Quick TN. Popped and poured. Time has been kind to this wine. It has settled into early adulthood, finally shedding its youthful exuberance. A hint of something I normally associate with brett, but otherwise dark cherries/black raspberry/blueberry, a hint of pine/rosemary/forest/earth and fine tannins that are seemingly nearly resolved. Drinking beautifully and in a sweet spot. My last bottle. Great pairing with grilled Brazilian picahna (top round with fat cap). (1348 views)
 Tasted by btock on 11/15/2013 & rated 91 points: Yet another example of the QPR greatness that is Carlisle. While prices have crept up a few dollars here and there, Mike's "appellation" wines are still a great value. Have learned to let Carlisle syrahs rest for a while and this '05 was in a good spot, rewarding the patience. Drunk over two nights (poured off 1/2 into a 375) and the 2nd night was better. Bright red fruit profile, a food wine in that the acidity and touch of heat was fine on its own but way better with my bacon & brussels side! Not earthy per se but a nice minerality in the mouthfeel that balanced the wine. Nicely done. (1637 views)
 Tasted by wineismylife on 2/17/2013 & rated 91 points: WIML91

Tasted non blind. Opened and decanted about one hour before serving.

Dark garnet to almost purple color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of roasted meat, a little tar and plenty of currants and dried plums. Flavors of black berries, currants and dark plums. Medium acidity, medium tannin, full bodied. Drink over the next few years. Ready to go. (2309 views)
 Tasted by SKP88 on 1/27/2013 & rated 88 points: Well crafted and balanced but lacking in personality, either from exuberant fruit or earthy flavors. This reminds of a lot of wines that appear so afraid to be overdone and want so much to be refined, balanced and smooth that they end up being boring. This was boring. It offends no one except me when I looked at the $40 price I paid for it. For that price I want more than a wine that is inoffensive (1724 views)
 Tasted by Spencer on 12/15/2012: Best Carlisle syrah I've had in a long time, if not ever. Balanced and pure. Should get even better and age gracefully. Curious to know if this was vinified differently from most other Carlisles from the same period? (1802 views)
 Tasted by MAXIMUM SATISFACTION on 12/3/2012 & rated 93 points: This wine tastes exactly like it smells. Kalamata olive brine, sizzled bacon fat, muted black fruit and a hint of Dr. Pepper (spice). The wine is extremely well made and silky smooth (especially for the price I paid $25). Paired excellent with sausage pasta. This is drinking close to it’s peak. This was my first Carlisle and certainly not my last.

See more detail at
http://maximumsatisfaction.tumblr.com/post/37166926753 (1557 views)
 Tasted by AllRed on 10/26/2012 & rated 93 points: From a 750ml tlv opened the previous night. Inky purple color with a bouquet dominated by aromas of bacon fat and roasted meat. Violet, spice and black fruit notes add complexity. Full-bodied with velvety tannins and flavors of dark fruit, plum, roasted meat and iron. Long finish. Impressive, and a stellar match w/Mrs. tlv's braised short ribs. (1684 views)
 Tasted by thelostverse on 10/25/2012 & rated 93 points: This has an explosive nose that I could smell just walking past a full glass. Black fruits and bacon fat, with palate picking up some blueberry and floral. (1168 views)
 Tasted by daniel.jay on 10/19/2012: Disappointing, no fruit left. Possible heat damage? (1078 views)
 Tasted by egh on 8/31/2012 & rated 92 points: Inky purple colored. Aromatically expressive, rich, and complex with blackberry, black raspberry, purple flowers, smoke, olive, and meat. In the mouth, this shows plenty of muscle, density, and concentration, yet with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Ripe, juicy, and darker fruit driven with good supporting acidity with the wine's structure, grip, and chalky tannin evident on the persistent finish. The 15.0% alcohol is undetectable. Certainly approachable, but additional bottle age might help to further resolve/soften out the back end. Nicely done. (1190 views)
 Tasted by Nanda on 3/10/2012 & rated 91 points: Nose is dark and rich with big black fruit and stem notes. Palate sports large scale fruit with good juicy acidity playing counterpoint. Seems that the wine still needs time to develop and show nuance. Powerful finish. I like the core - stem and herb notes starting to add complexity - but needs more time. (1520 views)
 Tasted by Gregg G on 2/22/2012: Dark stuff. Full and rich, yet carries the fruit with a threaded, core of acidity. Gets slightly sweet and hot on the finish, but I have to say, this may be the best Syrah in bottle I've had from Mr. Mike. Simply a well made wine in a bigger style. Perhaps, the most refined and composed Carlisle Syrah I've tasted to date. Just checked, it's the lowest abv, @ 15%, of any Carlsisle I've had. (1547 views)
 Tasted by dougsmith on 10/10/2011 & rated 91 points: Black with a deep ruby rim. Rich and plummy, lavender flavors in this wine, great grip and presence, full bodied. (1841 views)
 Tasted by wdb001 on 9/25/2011 & rated 92 points: Popped and poured. Inky purple color, lovely floral nose and notes of dark fruit, tar, bacon fat. Delicious. (1829 views)
 Tasted by gdbart on 5/27/2011 & rated 91 points: Very dark purple, opaque. Vet nice, dark black fruit, spice, lavender and sage nose. Ripe concentrated black fruit, rich, long spicy finish, not quite balanced little too ripe and concentrated. (1775 views)
 Tasted by meatman on 2/4/2011 & rated 90 points: Meaty nose and palate. Definitely less sweet than most Carlisles. My only problem with it was the last glass 6 hours later had lost its acidity and was all cocoa. Score is for all of the glasses but the last. (2507 views)
 Tasted by Haltermr on 12/26/2010 & rated 90 points: Very good. Rather simple compared to the Cardiac Hill. (2538 views)
 Tasted by lpollack on 11/24/2010 & rated 92 points: Dark ink color. Nose of black fruits and cracked pepper deep concentration. Tastes of blackberries, black currants and pepper. Long pleasing finish. Tannins are well integrated. (2846 views)
 Tasted by DSimmons on 10/26/2010 & rated 91 points: Great bottle shared with friend. No detailed notes (2851 views)
 Tasted by cookie7 on 10/20/2010 & rated 93 points: Pop and pour. Note after 3 hours. Earth and barnyard on the nose. Blackberries, plum and spice on the palate. Could mistake this for Northern Rhone. Very enjoyable. (2882 views)
 Tasted by OneLastSyrah on 5/21/2010: 15% ABV. Dark garnet, slightly translucent in the glass. Fairly strong nose of roasting coffee beans. Meaty dark fruit with a bit of smoke. Rich, full bodied with savory/sweet meaty black fruit. Good. (3116 views)
 Tasted by cenberra21 on 4/3/2010: Put some scallops wrapped in bacon in the oven and with Louie Armstong playing and crooning in the background, popped and poured this beautiful bottle. Deep purple color, nose offered red and dark fruits with nuances of meat and licorice. Still tannic, this is a dense drink with flavors of espresso, sour cherry, and chocolate. It got much better after an hour. It rocked on the second day. (3280 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Josh Raynolds
Vinous, May/June 2007, IWC Issue #132
(Carlisle Winery Syrah Bennett 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.

2005 Carlisle Syrah Bennett Valley

Winemaker's Note for the 2005 Bennett Valley Syrah


Varietal article (Wikipedia) | (Wines Northwest)


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

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