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Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel 2014

ID No: 444048
Vintage:2014
Bottle Size:750 ml
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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. 

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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. 

Gamba Zinfandel Family Ranches 2016

Gamba Zinfandel Family Ranches is made from 100 percent Zinfandel.

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Trione Zinfandel Flatridge Ranch is made from 100 percent Zinfandel. 

Aromas of briarwood and pipe tobacco give way to blackberry pie, toasted macaroons and plums.  The wine is velvety, supple and rich with a long, satisfying finish.  This Zinfandel, a Sonoma County classic, will continue to age for many years to come.

Flatridge Ranch is a secluded parcel in the Coastal mountain range, west of the Rockpile AVA.  Here the Trione family planted a 10 acre vineyard in 2008.  The vines are a unique Zinfandel selection called Saint Peter’s Church, whose provenance is a 100-year-old block in Cloverdale, a small town north of our Geyserville winery.   The 2013 vintage was a perfect growing season.

Cases produced:  575
 

Winemaking:  We fermented the grapes in small, open top fermenters, hand plunging the cap three-four times daily.  The wine aged 18 months in American oak barrels, 40% new, prior to bottling March 2015.

Winemaker Notes:  
Aromas of briarwood and pipe tobacco give way to blackberry pie, toasted macaroons and plums.  The wine is velvety, supple and rich with a long, satisfying finish.  This Zinfandel, a Sonoma County classic, will continue to age for many years to come.
Alcohol:  14.9 
Total Acid:  6.20 g/L
pH:  3.76

Product Description

Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel is made from 89 % Zinfandel, 11% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Aubun, Grand Noir, Petite Sirah, Peloursin, Trousseau noir, Syrah, Petit Bouschet, Cinsault).

Aged in French oak for 15 months

Very dark ruby-purple. Knockout, exotic aromas of black raspberry, eucalyptus, blood orange, and sandalwood. Wow! I could sniff this all night! Incredibly well-balanced with flavors of blackberry and black raspberry. Not particularly tannic (Zins rarely are), healthy acidity provides a solid framework for this wine to age and develop. Enjoy this benchmark Zinfandel from 2017 through 2023. (MRO – 01/19/16)

Not surprisingly, the 88-year-old vines at Montafi Ranch knocked it out of the park in 2014. With slightly smaller clusters and berries than in 2013, yields were approximately 2.2 tons to the acre, just below the previous year’s record of 2.5 tons to the acre. Since yields were generous, we picked over the course of several days and divided the fruit between multiple tanks to give us a broader range of flavors and aromas for creating the best blend possible. All French oak but only 20% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.


 

Review:

"Zinfandel doesn't get much better than this. Rich aromas of black raspberry and orange zest open to balanced, complex and luxurious flavors of blackberry, mint and baking spices. A knockout. Drink now through 2027. 871 cases made."
- Wine Spectator (2016), 96 pts





Winery: Carlisle Winery

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

Owner: Mike & Kendall Officer
Winery Philosophy: Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult. We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible. We often rely on uninoculated fermentations and use minimal new oak. We rarely fine or filter. However, we are not dogmatic and will intervene if we feel it results in a higher quality wine while still remaining true to the vintage and the vineyard.

"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

Carlisle Vineyards:

Winery Production: 9,500 / 9L cases
Varietals Produced: Zinfandel, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Grüner Veltliner
Winemaker: Jay Maddox

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!

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