Sourced from several sites in the heart of the Russian River Valley, the grapes are vinified in our traditional style; with an extended soaking period. The vineyard lots were fermented on the natural indigenous yeasts, each lot fermented separately to highlight the distinctive characteristics and unique distinct flavor profiles of this world famous growing region. Dark ruby-garnet in color, this classic Russian River Zinfandel shows aromas of boysenberry, raspberry, brown spices, and pepper. Medium to full-bodied, the Family Ranches Zinfandel is balanced with excellent acidity: a powerful, rich and concentrated wine, with flavors of nectarine, cherry and raspberry that build through the lingering finish. This lovely wine can be enjoyed now, and will continue to develop with bottle age over the next several years.
The 2014 vintage is the maiden release of Cabernet Sauvignon from Keermont Vineyards. All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.
Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030
All grapes used in producing their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.
The season’s winter was generally mild, but became cold and wet towards spring time. Keermont experienced record rainfall and even snow on the mountains during August 2013. This allowed for good vine growth during the spring, but also increased the mildew pressure and resulted in an unusually large insect population. Fortunately neither of these had a major impact on our crop. Our soils stayed moist throughout the growing season thanks to moderate temperatures and we hardly had to irrigate at all before harvest. A series of heat waves in early February jolted us into harvest action. The vines, which had been very nurtured by all the moisture, suddenly started to show some signs of stress and we needed to pick quite a few of the blocks over a short period. The favourable growing conditions contributed to a healthy crop of 150 tons for Keermont Vineyards.
Alc: 15.0 %
RS: 1.72 g/L TSO2: 63 mg/L VA: 0.82 g/L
"This is the first vintage of this varietal Cabernet, grown on red clay loam soils at 300 metres. The vines are still quite young, but it’s a superb début, with subdued oak, savoury, perfumed top notes, fine-grained tannins and pure cassis and wild herb flavours. One to watch. 2019-25."
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2017 Special Report), 93 pts
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a new addition to the Keermont range. It comes from a single, low-yielding block, although it will not be labelled as such, from loamy soils around 300 meters above sea level. Most of the maturation is in 225-liter barrels with around 20% new oak. It has a straightforward bouquet, perhaps not quite as personality-driven as the Cabernet Franc at the moment, but developing pleasing graphite/pencil box scents with time. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, good body and presence in the mouth with that graphite theme continuing from the aromatics. Well balanced and harmonious towards the finish, I would afford this a couple of years in bottle to develop more varietal character. - Neal Martin"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #230, April 2017), 91 pts
Keermont Estate Reserve Red Blend is made from 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot
The Keermont Estate Reserve is the winery's flagship red blend. With this blend they aim to bring to life the nuances of both the terroir at Keermont Vineyards and the particular vintage.
Venetian red in color, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish.
All grapes are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.
Small batches of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration
"The 2014 Estate Reserve is a blend of 32% Merlot and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remainder made up of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Syrah. It begins soft and shy on the nose and the palate moves to the bolder side, with dark-fruited expression and dusty, floral minerality. Medium to full-bodied, it's focused and structured with spicy tones across the mid-palate. The wine ends with focused, grippy tannins on the long finish and it should age well. 14,229 bottles were made. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 90 pts
Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.
The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.
(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.
From the hot, windswept slopes of Red Mountain, the 2014 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a serious, tight, backwards effort that won’t be for those looking for instant gratification. Possessing classic Red Mountain red and black fruits, dried earth, pepper, dried spice and black olive characteristics, it’s full-bodied, beautifully textured, has flat out awesome purity and impeccable balance. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following decade or so.
While there's a long history of terrific wines from this estate, I think they've hit another level in the past few vintages, and these latest releases show a purity, elegance and textural quality not found in early bottlings. I'm sure this is in part due to the creation of a second wine, and even a stricter selection for all of the top cuvees. In short, don't miss a chance to try these wines. 96 Points Wine Advocate
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Boich Wall Road Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Pure dark fruits, plum preserves and dried blueberry notes are knit together with ribbons of crushed mineral and floral undertones, the palate is mouth coating and highlighted by ripe tannins and dense dark fruit and mineral notes. A long finish with wisps of pipe tobacco finish this exotic and expressive mountain Cabernet. Two hundred and twenty cases produced.
Vintage Notes – Marked by California’s ongoing drought, the 2014 vintage was notably early, garnering fruit with intense flavor. While vineyards throughout the valley reported pick dates up to three weeks ahead of schedule, moderate summer temperatures allowed grapes to ripen to perfection with outstanding quality and structure. Aromatic, luscious and fruit-forward, the wines of 2014 are proving ideal.
Wall Road Vineyard – This three-acre gem is located at the northern tip of the Mount Veeder AVA, due west of Oakville and the To Kalon vineyard. True to the Veeder AVA, this site delivers both the power and elegance we strive to achieve in our Mountain Cabernets. The elevation, slope orientation and well-drained soils yield fully ripened small berries with concentrated flavor.
Mount Veeder AVA – Known for its acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, this illustrious appellation produces graceful, expressive and world-renowned wine. Limited by nature, Mount Veeder’s rugged mountain terrain, high elevation and cooling influence from the San Pablo Bay allows for a long growing season that returns low, sought after yields. This results in powerful fruit with distinct berry flavors.
This is a thick, layered and leathery wine, with ample spice and complexity. Cinnamon, toast, clove, red currant and black cherry tones highlight a full-bodied robust experience of impressive integration and tamed tannins. -Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Carlisle Bedrock Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 is made from 90% Zinfandel & 10% mixed Blacks (Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, and others)
We typically pick our two blocks of Bedrock Zinfandel at least several days apart but in this vintage, both blocks seemed to be on the same pace. As a result, we picked the two blocks on September 1st and fermented them in a single tank. Bedrock Vineyard always produces one of our most structured Zinfandels but the addition of a bit of old-vine Mourvèdre (also planted in 1888) seems to really add refinement to the palate without diminishing the “zinniness” of the wine. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
"The 2014 Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard emerges from one of the warmer sites Carlisle works with. All of that intensity comes through in a big, dramatic wine endowed with serious presence, intensity and tannic heft. Black cherries, menthol, tar, licorice and smoke hit the palate in a big wine that shows the virile side of Zinfandel. The Bedrock is not especially polished, subtle or refined, but it sure is distinctive. - Antonio Galloni "
- Vinous (February 2016), 92-94 pts
Carlisle Winery is 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). They have also recently added their first whites, two blends from historic, old-vine vineyards plus Sonoma County's first ever Grüner Veltliner.
"While we like our wines to be bold and intensely flavored, each reflecting its vintage and vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and nuance. Our goal is always the same - grow and source outstanding fruit, do as little as possible to it, and bottle outstanding, pleasurable wine at the fairest price possible."
Date Founded: 1998
"It was with our meager savings and some family support that Kendall and I launched Carlisle Winery & Vineyards in 1998, concentrating on our two loves, old-vine Zinfandel and red Rhone varieties (Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre). Our goal was simple but ambitious: to create small lots of distinctive, world-class wines from some of California’s most exceptional vineyards. With the belief that great wine begins in the vineyard, we sought out Zinfandel from some of the finest vineyards in the county, planted between 1885 and 1934, including our own vineyard planted in 1927 by Alcide Pelletti. For our Rhone varieties, we contracted with small, family growers, just as dedicated and passionate about growing grapes as we are about making exceptional wine.
Using vacation from my “real” job in San Francisco, we produced 650 cases in our first vintage, 1998. However, after growing to nearly 1000 cases in 2000, I found myself over-extended in trying to balance the demands of our growing business and my career as a software developer. It was obvious that if I wanted to be a full-time winemaker, production needed to increase. The catch, however, was that in order to increase production, we needed my salary! The solution? Enter Jay Maddox, an old college friend who had just finished getting a second degree in viticulture and enology (with honors!) from U.C. Davis. Jay joined Carlisle in February 2001, bringing a wealth of knowledge, a keen palate, and a desire to produce nothing but the best without compromise. Together, we have been able to grow to nearly 7000 cases, quickly approaching our desired maximum of 8000. With the increase in production, I finally shed myself of the commute and said goodbye to corporate America in March 2004."
- Mike Officer
It's said over and over: "Great wines begin in the vineyard." Although the winemaker’s bag of tricks has grown considerably over recent years, these tools and techniques can only take a wine so far. For a wine to be exceptional, it must be intrinsic to the grapes. Given this simple fact, we strive to work with only the best vineyards, vineyards that consistently produce grapes of quality and distinction, vintage after vintage. For our numerous zinfandels and Two Acres mourvèdre blend, we source fruit from some of the finest old-vine Sonoma Country vineyards, planted between 1885 and 1952. For our other varieties – syrah, petite sirah, and grenache – we work diligently with small family growers who share our passion for great wine. Although some of these vineyards are quite young, the care and attention they receive ensures exceptional, distinctive fruit with each vintage.
Montafi Ranch – Russian River Valley
Planted in 1926, we originally designated our zinfandel from this ranch as Tom Feeney Ranch, as Tom purchased this ranch from the Bernardo Montafi in 1999. But with a new owner in 2006, we have returned to calling this vineyard by its proper name, Montafi Ranch. Located farther up the eastern bench of the Laguna de Santa Rosa flood plain, literally bordering Santa Rosa city limits, this vineyard is mostly Zinfandel but does contain a healthy amount of Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir de la Calmette. A little Petite Sirah, Peloursin, Syrah, and Petit Bouschet are interspersed as well. Being a higher up the bench, Montafi Ranch tends to be picked earlier, generally around the first week of October.
Rossi Ranch – Sonoma Valley
Planted in 1910 by the Rossi Family, this must be one of the most picturesque vineyards in Sonoma County. Farmed organically, there are a variety of hills, undulations, and exposures, all surrounded by a mix of oak and pine/fir forest. Unfortunately, after the death of Val Rossi in 1999, the vineyard fell into disrepair and many of the old vines were lost, including large tracts of Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir. New owners have completed a massive renovation of the vineyard , preserving as many of the old vines as possible. Some of the new blocks are even being head-pruned. Blocks of Petite Sirah have also been re-introduced. (The original Petite Sirah blocks were destroyed by deer.)
Although further inland from our Russian River Valley sources, this vineyard is in a very cool microclimate, often necessitating October picking. The wine from this ranch reflects the wildness surrounding the vineyard. The aromas and flavors exhibit a briary, peppery, spiciness intertwined with the smell of the native plants in the vineyard. Rossi’s own version of garrigue if you will!
Dark and chocolate, spiced with pretty notes of allspice and clove, this wine is round and rich, bursting with ripe berries, combined with an earthy complexity and a velvety finish.
Made from 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc
The wine spent 22 months on 75% new French oak with the remaining 25% second vintage French oak. Select barrels from the best forests of Taransaud, Boutes, Quintessance, and Vicard cooperages.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Merlot, this wine seems a little green out of the gate, with aromas of herbs, cocoa, vanilla, black licorice, woodspice and black fruit. The fruit flavors display the warmth of this region, with the tannins providing some heft, stretching out over time. - Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
Tamarack Cellars’ 2011 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Reserve is an outstanding blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc that spent 22 months (each variety is kept separate until 12 months after the harvest) in 50% new and 50% once-used French oak. Classically styled, with lots of smoke tobacco, licorice and blackcurrant aromas and flavors, it has everything in the right place, in the right proportions, and is incredibly enjoyable to drink. Enjoy this medium to full-bodied, moderately tannic, balanced beauty over the coming decade, although it will probably last longer. - Robert Parker Wine Advocate 91 Points
Grace Town Chardonnay Margaret River is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Coastal influences in the Margaret River area yield chardonnay with tropical fruit notes. Hints of passion fruit and guava, with balanced acidity results in a delicious chardonnay.
Wine was slightly filtered before bottling.Malolactic fermentation was partially done.
A portion of the wine is aged in new and used French Oak barrels.