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  • 2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

    This wine is one of several Carlisle 2015s that seem to be a moving target. I.e., out of two bottles of the same wine, purchased from the same source, one will provide a much different experience than the other. I don't think it's bottle variation either -- maybe more like bottle...evolution?

    Anyway, opened a bottle of this about six months ago, and it was pretty closed down. Very nice, and plenty of fruit, but not as generous as you'd expect. This bottle is freaking en fuego. Gobs of ripe raspberry, black cherry, strawberry, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and some orange peel trimming. Absolutely loaded with delicious fruit, but it's light and energetic, not jammy. One of the best zins I've had so far this year, and as always, a price that puts most other producers to shame.

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  • 2016 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block

    Been following this bottle for the last eight hours or so. Off the pop my friend and I took first sips, followed by "WHOA", followed by some silence, followed by some mumbled descriptors, followed by more silence...

    The wine is just profoundly good, although I'm not inclined to wander into "best Carlisle ever" territory, especially with the 2016s showing such a distinctiveness between each wine in the lineup. The past few vintages have given us wines of such increasing finesse and personality that picking the best ever is almost like picking your favorite kid. You just gotta love 'em all unconditionally.

    This moved around a lot throughout the evening, but the balance between grace/power, rich/elegant, sweet/savory, etc. didn't waver for an instant. The score range was probably in the 94-97 zone, but I think that assigning it points as it stands today is less useful than the observation that this wine has the potential to fascinate for many years, and that its current accessibility and incredibly fair pricing make this one to buy by the case and follow now through ____ ....?

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  • 1997 Smith Woodhouse Porto Vintage

    Second of three bottles. Drank the first in October 2017. In that TN, I wrote that the wine was still too young at 20 yrs old, and that this bottle next to me wouldn't get opened for another ~five years. No regrets re: jumping the gun, though -- tonight the tannins are slightly more resolved, and there's an almost tawny-like entry of caramel and nuts. Similar flavor profile otherwise -- chocolate, cherries, raisin, and the spiced apple that another reviewer mentioned.

    Definitely still recommend putting another five or 10 years on this, but this time I'm way more optimistic about its potential. If everything goes right from here, this will turn into a classic VP and be a sleeper of the vintage.

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  • rickspicks says:

    6/15/2016 11:01:00 AM - Just saw your TN on The Calling pinot noir from a few months ago. Totally agree with you about Meomi (same for Belle Glos) and suspect our palates are similar, although I prefer the leanness of Oregon pinot over the richness of RRV.

  • jonahfactor says:

    8/17/2014 10:48:00 AM - Thanks for the comment on the Gassier. Definitely worth looking for. In fact, I went back and bought another half case this morning.

  • mazik says:

    2/14/2014 11:43:00 AM - Re Dashe Zin 2009, there was nothing much going on the following day either. I just don't get the reviews by IWC and was our wine damaged before or during transit, or were they drinking something else?

  • Tim Heaton says:

    10/3/2012 9:13:00 PM - thanks for the positive feedback on my tn. cheers!