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Community Tasting Notes (66) Avg Score: 91.2 points

  • 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.

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  • #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.

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  • This was a fabulous zinfandel with a whopping 15.9% alcohol! Felt, rather than tasted the heat (later). A great zin.

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  • 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.

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  • First of these last night. Sweet! Open the bottle about an hour before drinking. Classic zin.

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Vinous

  • By Stephen Tanzer
    May/June 2012, IWC Issue #162, (See more on Vinous...)

    (Carlisle Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Russian River Valley) Subscribe to see review text.

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