95% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre, and 1% Viognier that registers at 15.5% alcohol. Impresses for its inky color, perfumed and lifted bouquet, concentration, depth and range of flavor, complexity, power, saturation, and length. Captivating and multifaceted aromatic and flavor profile with gobs of blackberry compote and melted black licorice along with notions black pepper, violets, meat, olive brine, and iodine. My favorite bottle of Carlisle syrah to date. Highly recommended.
Dark garnet color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of violets, boysenberries and a hint of roasted meat. Flavors of boysenberries, plum and black cherries. Medium acidity, medium tannin, full bodied. Drink or hold. This wine had a decent amount of sediment so standing and decanting is recommended.
Same as my specific notes from 8/19/2015. My last bottle. Ended up being a good Syrah with a very good QPR. Nothing earth-shattering, but a pleasant drink nonetheless. Papa's Block is consistently the best Syrah Mike Officer produces each vintage.
Big wine, extremely dark color, teeth and lip staining dark purple. Very aromatic, with funky cured meat and cheese aromas mixed with blue and black fruits on the nose. Plush and full on the palate with the blue and black fruits, smoke and echoes of the cured meat and some earthiness. Balanced and holds it 15%+ alcohol very well. A style I've gravitated away from over the years, but I enjoyed this one.
On night two there's only one glass left that I was glad was held over. Seemed a little more assertive while picking up chocolate. More like a fat petit sirah with bluer fruit. Went great with a spicy veggie burger.
The tip of the cork is black as fuck. This is the opaquestly most opaque wine I've seen in a bit. Smells like a Parmesan warehouse filled with roasted meat. On the palate its unctuous with ripe black currant and blackberry showing a simple attack. Delicious and creamy after some airtime. Went perfect with a grilled ribeye and Caesar.
Dark garnet to purple color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of currants, meat and Kirsch. Flavors of Kirsch, plums and raspberries. Medium acidity, medium to firm tannin, full bodied. Drink with air or continue to hold.
If one was to analyze viscosity, this would have to get highest possible marks! Almost thick and made a 2009 Hacienda Monasterio seem almost lightbodied in comparison. Other than that, see MTOLERICOs note below, which sums up this bottle nicely.
As others have noted, blackberry, blueberry, and black olive notes. What distinguishes this wine over the other Carlisle Syrahs is the interplay between the subtle meaty notes and distinct Papa's Block charcoal and asphalt notes. A push of wood smoke and forest floor drive this syrah into a realm that surpasses Mike Officer's other Syrahs.
This Syrah defines what I think Officer's Syrahs should be (especially of the early 2000 era of Carlisle). He has throttled-back the richness of his wine over the years (which for me has been a tad disappointing), but the Papa's remains the last of the Mohicans. This IS the one you want to get over the others.
The 2010 is ready to drink now. A slow O2 allows for some secondary nuances of smoke, vanillin wood, cedar, and earth notes, but it is ready to PnP for the most part now. Enjoy for the next few years.
Wines At Our Table; Week of August 2nd 2015; 7/27/2015-8/2/2015: Opaque violet purple color with very appealing bacon fat, mixed blackberry and blueberry compote with a hint of floral aromas. On the palate, it's medium-bodied and focused, with ample fruit deftly counter-balanced with very good acidity and a supple texture and well integrated tannins. It shows blackberry, blueberry, vanilla, peppery spice flavors with hints of red currant, bittersweet chocolate and plum. Long finish. 95% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre. 1% Viognier. 15.5% alcohol
I waited a couple years between bottles, with the last being in 2013. Opened this bottle last night, as I wanted something from the cellar that was a bit more fruit centric, plusher--so, go with the Papa's as this consistently delivers. Here is the thing for me with Mike's syrahs, what I like about them. They give me fruit with plusher textures. And yet, they have edges. Let's use this Papa's to make my point. First off, dark color, mainly a maroonish purple. There is the Carlisle texture, where there is a gentle, full palate presentation, not of the leaner side of things. This is labeled at 15.9% abv, and yet there is no booze nor distraction within the aromatic. And I wonder if the abv is lower, as I don't feel bonked the head after a glass, FWIW. And to the point about having edges, this wine exhibits the imprint of whole cluster--garrigue, cooked meat, steak sauce, pepper, yet wrapped around all that is the plusher, dark raspberry and blackberry fruit. Oh, and there's acidity too. This ain't flabby or unbalanced, as there is a lively zing that sits in the finish of the wine, along with good structure. All in, this is just great CA syrah. I'm really lasered down to just a few syrah producers, and really mostly the fragile palate stuff that lies in the low abv spectrum of things. However, with Mike's syrahs, with the Papa's, Rosella's and the AVA cuvees, these remain on my purchase list. Mike's syrahs provide a great counterpoint to Copain and Wind Gap, more like the Riverain syrahs, and all of them fit on my short list for syrah I buy now and enjoy. Love this 2010 Papa's.
Dinner with Friends (Edwin's/Our Backyard by the Fire): I know this was young, but that's how my wife loves her wines. It turned out everyone else did too. Pop and pour, this showed great from the get go and kept improving until it was drained a short time later. Purple in color. The nose has black olives, black raspberries, black pepper and slight grilled meats. Great juicy, lush texture. Very easy to drink. Great with our food.
This one is ripe for the taking. From the first pour, it gives loads of meaty black fruits. Perhaps the best part, though, is the rich cocoa/mocha overtone that keeps it compelling and holds everything together. A rich, but balanced, treat. It will likely be fine for a few years, but my remaining bottles won't last that long.
Big fruit maybe a little flabby right now. Tannins soft and sweet. Great start good middle but the end floats away leaving me wondering what just happened. Overall I like it and I wish I could rate it higher. Will try on the next bottle. Overall a really good wine and maybe I was just expecting a little more.
Popped and poured. Deep purple/violet, youthful. Expressive aromas immediately off the pop of black pepper, crushed stones, spicy oak and dark fruits, the latter two elements gaining prominence with aeration. Medium-plus body. More fruit on the palate and even more stony mineral notes. Nicely balanced with smooth, well-integrated tannins on the plus close. Drinking nicely right now and will age for many years, great stuff.
At a buddy's house, my contribution for the evening. It's predecessor, Tom's bottle of Sanguis Misfit, took a back seat three cars behind this one, which was a unanimous feeling at the table. I can't think of a label that pound for pound delivers the goods better than Carlisle. In greek we say "axios" to those that are worthy-this bottle warrants such designation.
expressive nose with a little garrigue, dark fruit. good balance with bright acid balancing the tannins and high alcohol--about 15%. I think it could use another 2 to 4 years to balance everything out and would probably match the other scores-clearly well made but not integrated yet.
This was our 5th bottle of this wine and by far the best even with a pop and pour. One of our favorite of Mike's syrahs which we find drink best after a few years of age. Over 15% alcohol but doesn't show it. If you have any of these left in your cellar you are very lucky. Drink now or over the coming 3-5 years.
Everything there. No formal note, but this was stellar, with lots of fruit, clove, and black pepper, but a light mouthfeel and no heat on a long finish. Acid really helps keep this in balance. Really lovely and a reminder of why I buy as much Papa's Block as they'll sell me (and then some!). Unbelievable value.
Opaque purple ruby black. Evolving, rich nose included blackberry, mint, cured meat, crushed rocks, and raspberry liqueur. Full, rich, thick in the mouth, sporting lots of intense and detailed flavors, finishing long. Hedonistic, and unabashedly American; I don't think you could confuse this with something from Northern Rhone, but that's not a negative. It's loud and proud. Should drink like this for another 5-8 yrs, perhaps, before it turns down the volume a bit.
Virtually nothing to change from a 11 months ago: Deep red-purple, almost opaque color. All smoke and blueberry flavors. Terrific warm vintage fruit that is almost sweet with underlying cool climate herbal notes and textures. Beautiful balance of fruit and savory notes. Rich mouth feel but completely balanced with well integrated tannins. Papa's Block is always my top Carlisle syrah and this may be the best one yet.
Opened and served immediately. Followed over about 90 minutes.
Dark garnet color in the glass, fairly clear looking. Nose of raspberries, berries, leather and smoke. Flavors of raspberries, plums, berries and a hint of cherries. Medium acidity, medium tannin, full bodied. Drink now with a little air time or over the next 2-6 years. Best guess.
Very much in line with last notes on 10/28/13. Really nice Papa's but not the best vintage as the lacking tannins (just as in the last bottle) keep this from being a total knock out wine. With that said 92 points is no poor showing.
Consumed without decanting. Very nice dark, somewhat spicy red fruit without much of a nose. There is nice balance, but it seems just a bit thin in the mid-palate. There are no off flavors, but something that let's one know this wine is different.
See previous notes. The palate has undoubtedly improved. The tarragon, boysenberry, then soy sauce and melted licorice really reverberate. So much finesse and evident layers. Please decant for two hours, at least. Creamy.... Drink 2015 - 2022.
Okay so I need to do a better job checking on my notes before I pull bottles from the cellar....the flavor profile is consistent with my previous note, and I agree this will be better with age, although this bottle opened up a little more than my previous bottle hence the slight improvement in score. Great Syrah but I do recommend more time!!
Nose: Fabulous aromas of blackberry jam, blueberries with all kinds of assorted herbs and creosote. Another reviewer mentioned sawdust (Rmonty below) which is a great descriptor and I agree. Palate: Very lush and soft with plush black and blue fruits although there is very little tannin which makes me wonder about longevity. There is still good acidity and some tannin but I think it best to consume this over the next 1-2 years. Drinking great right now with a medium to long finish and good lift thanks to the acidity. Solid! 92+ points.
Deep, dark color. Eucalyptus, toasted oak and sawdust on nose. Lively acidity with high, dry tannins. Flavors of blueberry crumb cake, black currant, Asian spice & cedar box. Recommend laying down for 2-4 more years (has potential to reach 95+ points).
Wow! Coming along nicely. Deep red-purple, almost opaque. All smoke and blueberry flavors. Terrific warm vintage fruit that is almost sweet with underlying cool climate herbal notes and textures. Rich mouth feel but completely balanced with integrated tannins. Papa's Block is always my top Carlisle syrah and this may be the best one yet.
92+ Points. Decanted for about 30 minutes then serially tasted over 2 hours. Served around 60-65 degrees.
Immediately off the nose, bright blackberries and boysenberry fruit. There's some oak influence here as well with a bacon fat element too. On the palate there's huge, extracted ripe black fruits that are almost unwieldy in nature followed by gravel/asphalt, notes of black olive and dark chocolate covered espresso beans. The coffee/chocolate characteristics are awfully prominent in the back end and the mid-palate is wound up with nearly overwhelming fruit and tarry/smoke characteristics.
The wine proves to be almost too much early on but with greater aeration the almost glycerin, grapey fruit develops some clarity and greater depth as ripe blackcurrants begin to emerge along with nuances of cedar and charcoal. (with the chocolate, espresso bean character remaining). Wildberry fruit came and went as well, contrasting against the menacing currant, olive and gravelly asphalt notes. There's enough acid here to brings some delineation to the wine's character but texturally it's a real mouthful and the wine virtually dominates the palate at times.
Overall, the wine reminded me of some Languedoc wines but with a far more sinister edge. It certainly has a visceral appeal as it's quite hedonistic but I found it almost fatiguing at times. My estimation is that it's a pretty dramatic wine that needs additional time for the fruit to come into balance and the mid-palate to resolve (it's pretty wound up). It's a quality wine for sure with plenty of stuffing and density on the mid-palate, but isn't quite harmonious yet. Give it another 3-5 years and it may be a seriously pretty wine with far more focus and nuance.
Poor notes from memory. On popping this was a jumbled, oaky mess. Eight hour decant later this was simply singing. So beautiful. Layered, luxurious. Fine, caressing tannin with a velvet sheen. Dark fruits, charcoal, flowers. Really came together in a totally different, and much better, way. Will last a decade no problem. New World. Full bodied. Rich. Fruit forward. Medium acid. Oaky.
I brought this to dinner with my valentine this evening. I didn't air it out before dinner so I just had it opened and enjoyed about a 1/3rd of the bottle over dinner. Getting home, figured I'd sample a quick bit more while I have the chance to really taste it. Mixed aromatic of smoke, garrigue and flowers (which was more prominent when the bottle was first opened). Palate exhibits lots of dark, smooth fruit, cooked meat/jerkey ala say a Rosella's/Garys' note, finishing with tar, bitter chocolate (light note of it) and licorice. There is a fair amount of acid in the finish but I see this as more of an early drinker, say now through 2015. As a final note, there seems to be a reflection of whole cluster in here, through the garrigue and an olive note, which I enjoy.
I agree with the others in that this is drinking really well for a young syrah. Lots of blueberry, some charcoal. Not particular complex, but enjoyable for its pure fruit and balanced structure. This has good acidity for a big wine and it has a long finish. The words hedonistic and oppulent come to mine, but this is done well for that style.
What an incredible syrah that is drinking great now and has lots of upside. I usually give my Carlisle syrahs at least 3 years to age but this one is really drinking so well now there is no reason to wait.
Very enjoyable, and surprising given its youth. Not a whole lot of tannins, and not a whole lot of syrah characteristics. A very drinkable wine but I wonder if this will develop over the years. We'll see. Comparable: Brad Peacock.
I know the joke about syrah and the clap, but nobody would tell that joke if everybody made syrah this way. Very clean, precise wine. Not the saxum, sqn, lillian type style (which I adore) with viscosity, but just a hint of a more French style, a little meaty, a little spicy, not much pepper. Some blueberries. A great effort. A tremendous value at the price point.
One hour decant, consumed over several hours. Initially, very primary and grapey but opened up nicely into dark fruits with a pleasant smokey element. Medium bodied with very well balanced and integrated tannins, acid and fruit. Very drinkable now, should evolve nicely for 5-7 years.
Very serious and made for a nice slumber. Drink 2014 - 2027. Tarragon, boysenberry, plum-sauce, salty mineral, black cherry and pumpkin spice. Structured and polished tannins - the latent acidity is still there - and not the most concentrated; yet don't doubt the depth in colour, per usual. Exemplifies terroir and backwards in a Cote Rotie sort of way. Long on the fatty finish.
Inky violet color with aromatic aromas of tobacco, spice, and dark fruits. On the palate it's focused, balanced, and smooth with cassis, plum, blackberry, spice and a hint of bittersweet chocolate flavors. Long finish...an excellent wine! 15.5 alcohol 95%Syrah, 4%Mourvèdre, 1%Viognier
Fruity nose with a full body. Lots of blackberry, with dark cherry and hints of toast and cocoa. Almost jammy at first, more like a zinfandel or fruit forward cab. But, smoothed out after 10 minutes with good balance. A tad light on acidity and tannins, but still has sufficient structure. Finishes well. Very approachable and enjoyed by all at the table. Served with pork chops and a hearty salmon with cream sauce. Think I'll hold off opening another bottle for at least a year.
Pop/pour, no decant. Initially, I was thinking "wow, this is really open for a young Carlisle Syrah". Super lush initially. After 15 minutes it closes up quite a bit, becoming considerably more tight. On the nose, deep rich red fruit and a healthy dollop of oak. I don't get the meat / game notes that I've noticed in other Carlisle syrahs from earlier vintages. On the palate, well made but tight. A good decant or a 2-4 years would be helpful. If this tracks as other Carlisles, the leftovers will be better on Day 2. Update - Day 2 - indeed better, but still a touch tight, particularly on the finish, which has a bit of an inky iodine clipping to it. I'd probably hide this away for a couple of years. 91 points both days.
One of these days I'm going to pull a bunch of Carlisle and a bunch of Bedrock - pull a whole lot of corks, invite a bunch of friends and have a Syrah / Zin throwdown. I'm a big fan of both, but haven't really lined them up side-by-side. I think it might be educational.
No detailed notes. Struck me as being rounder and less structured than I expected. Great syrah nose of pepper and meat. Palate rather soft and round, almost flabby but has enough acidity to keep it together. Moderate mocha finish. Not as strong as prior years but still a nice expression of the vintage and varietal.
This was decanted an hour before drinking. Nice nose of blackberries and French oak. Agreed with other notes, there is a serious yum factor here with lush blackberries, plums, mid-palate transitioning to dark chocolate, and finishing with a smokiness and exotic spice. This could use some time for the oak to integrate and become less obtrusive, but I don't know how to comment on the age-worthiness of a wine like this, as this begs to be drunk and my remaining bottles will be gone within the next couple years..
Felt justified in cracking this one, as Mike recommended trying it sooner than later. This one cranks the yum factor to 11, no doubt. While not especially complex, it dishes up nice blackberry, salumi, and espresso aromas, and pours on the rich berry, spice, and faint earthy flavors in a balanced but lush style. A touch of grip and stemmy quality on the back end, but nothing that would keep me from opening it again soon. Doubt these will last long at all. Not a cerebral wine per se, but hugely enjoyable, balanced, and well-made.
Delicious - opened with some trepidation since it had not been in the cellar long since it arrived from the winery after its cross country trip and I had broken my rule about waiting 6 to 8 weeks after arrival before opening the first bottle. A bit tight when I first pulled the cork causing me to wish at that point that I hadn't been so impatient., but within a half hour the full flavor was emerging and it was drinking very nicely. It is not as bold as other Papa's Blocks we've enjoyed. It is still a big wine but compared with prior vintages, we found this to be a more subtle, refined wine at this stage with a lingering finish - I can still taste it as I write this note and it has been about an hour since my last sip. Not sure at this point if this will be typical of the 2010 Carlisle Syrahs, but I hope so since this is a delicious wine that will be tough to leave in the cellar to give it a chance to age. If only I had more bottles.