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 Vintage2008 Label 1 of 11 
ProducerCarlisle (web)
DesignationPapa's Block
SubRegionSonoma County
AppellationRussian River Valley

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2011 and 2018 (based on 21 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Carlisle Syrah Papa`s Block on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 92.6 pts. and median of 92 pts. in 84 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Ed B on 5/9/2015 & rated 92 points: PnP as second wine with cheese and hummus after golf. No detailed notes. Huge dark fruit, which opened up quickly and became very expressive. This wine deserves more attention than I gave it. (590 views)
 Tasted by sp4388 on 3/16/2015 & rated 93 points: Super delicious blackberries blueberries and leather plus mouthwatering acidity and a healthy dose of tannin. Carlisle delivers again. This should be very good for at least another 5 years (738 views)
 Tasted by mdaniel on 3/15/2015 & rated 94 points: Pop & pour: This has softened a bit since we last had four years ago, but it still a beautiful wine in a less in your face style. (728 views)
 Tasted by Outplaying on 3/11/2015: Big and rich with blackberries, blueberries, charcoal, and some olive notes. A good amount of acid but still on the decadent side. A little over the edge for me but my wife liked it. (659 views)
 Tasted by rwerner on 1/18/2015 & rated 93 points: Everything you could want in a syrah. Rich dark fruit flavors, leather in the mouth lingering through the a long finish. Very balanced tannins
The wine looks ruby colored. There is no sediment in the bottle. (921 views)
 Tasted by oski on 11/26/2014 & rated 94 points: In a good place right now. Good fruit, nice acidity and tannins (1074 views)
 Tasted by GoldenTbne on 11/23/2014 & rated 92 points: Decanted for 30 minutes or so. The alcohol is still apparent, but the wine is in a good place right now...and still has enough going to age nicely for a few more years. (981 views)
 Tasted by Matt Scott on 9/26/2014 & rated 95 points: This, frankly, is aging healthier than the desired '07. (I had my last bottle in June and it has fallen apart! I loved its unctuous profile, however, she is not for the cellar - I couldn't write a note.) Sultry, and evocative. Blackberry, dried basil, charged meat, white truffle and crushed rock. Agile, yet the core shows obvious concentration. This will continue to age nicely. Better now than ever! Drink now - 2022. (1286 views)
 Tasted by Dale B. on 9/8/2014 & rated 88 points: I had a hard time getting past the alcohol on an otherwise very well made wine. A 2 hour decant showed a mostly blueish fruit profile. Good length and smooth tannins, but still a hot wine IMO. (1311 views)
 Tasted by Giggs on 8/31/2014 & rated 92 points: Decanted 45 minutes. Floral/sweet/sugary black fruit nose, quite meaty, with strong black slate/graphite mineral. Palate picks up roasted espresso bean, dark chocolate, asphalt, and melted licorice... all the notes you might associate with a big, ripe, aggressive Syrah. It's a nice big wine that would certainly be a crowd pleaser, but it's not complex or unique enough to garner a higher score. Drink now-2019. (1167 views)
 Tasted by ogres3 on 8/17/2014 & rated 93 points: Excellent syrah. Decanted about 90 minutes. Fairly opaque. Still with some alcohol. Rich black fruit that is a bit overwhelming and can be paired with spicy food. Lingering finish. Quite enjoyable. (1198 views)
 Tasted by bubbachumps on 7/6/2014 & rated 93 points: Dark fruits, smoke, tar and some BBQ on the nose. In the mouth, well integrated, but still some structure present. Long finish. Has plenty of life left in it, but in a nice place now. (1825 views)
 Tasted by ogres3 on 6/11/2014 & rated 92 points: Decanted over an hour and still going full throttle. Purple hues, lots of bold fruit with a not subtle new world finish. Would be interested to see how this would evolve over another 5-8 years. (1589 views)
 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 11/17/2013: Well, I'll admit some confusion with my palate or bottle variation--not sure but the bottle last night didn't taste really anything much like the bottle from this past June. Last night's showed a wine more like syrah, nothing much like zin. Had a blood and iron aromatic, along with lavender. Spicy black fruit with a roasted quality and a finish of light chocolate. All of this doesn't say zin so either take my June note with a grain of salt or maybe some bottle to bottle variation. In total, was drinking well and should show some further improvement, too. (2332 views)
 Tasted by drrobvino on 11/2/2013 & rated 91 points: Nice. Smoky, black fruited, deep and complex without being syrupy. Drink now, tho. (1985 views)
 Tasted by jaumealaska on 10/28/2013 & rated 93 points: Game and dark fruit to the nose, extracted body with some heat but decent balance and long finish. Enjoyed it but probably will wait for the 2009 to cellar 5 or 6 years before trying. (2141 views)
 Tasted by Bob & Sue Atlanta on 6/28/2013 & rated 96 points: Outstanding. Needs a few more years in the cellar. (2167 views)
 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 6/15/2013: This wine reminds me of the 2004 Carlisle Bennett Valley Judge Vineyard syrah, tasting as that wine did a few years back, seeming more like a plump and dark zin than a syrah. And as I look at my previous note from Dec 2010 on this 2008 Papa's, I did comment about some acidity but I don't find much of any now. What is here is a core of sweet leather-tinged dark fruit that is plump and on the sweeter side, finishing with a blueberry note and a light chocolate. It's got a juicy, punchy element to it and drank blind, I could be fooled into thinking this is bold and riper toned zin. I'm taking this to dinner to have with probably a turkey sandwich or mac and cheese so for that kind of food, this oughta do great...over dinner, this did not change much, however, there was a surprise food pairing moment we had over dessert. We ordered what I'd call a dark chocolate creme brulee with a dusting of salt and this created a nice discussion around how food can impact a wine's experience, making the wine here less fruit-centric and restrained. As for a drink window, I'd say now, as much as I did when I drank the 2004 BV a few years back. Don't age this any further, but instead enjoy it for what it is now. (2168 views)
 Tasted by Mattshank on 5/12/2013 & rated 92 points: Nose: Just like last bottle drank recently the black fruits are there with earth and tar. Palate: Ahhh, this is Papa's Block and markedly better than the last bottle (3/27/13) as this is not showing the alc levels nearly as bad. Flavors of meat, black fruits and spice on the medium length finish. Good stuff and my last bottle of this. (1816 views)
 Tasted by S R U D I N on 5/6/2013 & rated 92 points: Silky ink velvet texture with a crimson/plum color is as beautiful as it is captivating. Coffee, berries, flowers, and leather both in the nose and the flavor. (2060 views)
 Tasted by nectar14 on 4/11/2013 & rated 89 points: Dark purple. Expressive nose, though not all that focused. Blackberry, cured meat, and a floral quality as well. The wine included a lot of flavor, but had a coarse and unfocused quality. Touch of bitter oak and slight alcoholic heat. Not as polished as other versions of this wine, and I wonder if the heat of '08 wasn't it's undoing. (1709 views)
 Tasted by t_moderne on 4/2/2013 & rated 88 points: Pop and pour and tasted over two days; first day was with food (a homemade gyro, in case you were wondering, with grilled lamb and tzatziki).Dark purple color; nose of spice and a slight medicinal note. Good fruit, rich and sweet, from the ripe fruit, with a touch of spice and pepper on the finish. On the second day, it had a bit if heat as the sweetness of the fruit faded slightly. (1414 views)
 Tasted by Mattshank on 3/27/2013 & rated 90 points: Nose: Black fruits with earth, moss and mineral. Palate: Big tannins and the black fruits show with a bit of a bitter quality. The monster alc levels of 15% showed but did dissapate after a great deal of air. Nonetheless this is not the '07' by any means. Too bad the alc levels are so high as this has good breeding, but those attributes are obscured by alcohol heat in the absense of which this would score much higher. I am surprised by all the high scores listed (many with no prose which is telling). (1659 views)
 Tasted by pgb67 on 3/1/2013 & rated 90 points: Winter 2013 Wine Parties: Rich and deep with well-integrated tannins and balanced structure – classy all the way. Plums, black cherries, & spice were just some of the characteristics detected. Nevertheless, I think I have a slight preference for Carlisle zins over the syrahs. (1477 views)
 Tasted by Uglypinga on 10/5/2012: Wow nose of beef, vanilla, tobacco and dark fruits. The palate is thick and lush with beef, blackberries and sweet vanilla notes. Delicious. (2013 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Josh Raynolds
Vinous, May/June 2010, IWC Issue #150
(Carlisle Winery Syrah Papa's Block 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.

2008 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block

Our 2007 Papa’s Block Syrah created quite a stir last year. But you know what? As good as it was, Jay and I think the 2008 is even better. The 2008 exhibits the same wonderful aromas and flavors as the 2007 but possesses greater balance. Unfortunately, however, we don’t have much to offer. As mentioned earlier, Papa’s Block was hit hard by frost in this vintage, reducing yields to nearly half of what we were expecting. Only 22% new oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Dark ruby-purple. A perfumed, captivating nose of blackberry and cassis is highlighted by savory herbal notes (no doubt from the whole clusters used in fermentation). The wine enters smoothly, quickly enveloping the palate with its creamy, berry goodness. This is already very difficult to resist. Enjoy from release through 2017.


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

Russian River Valley

Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association | Wikipedia

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