Produced from a vineyard planted in 1927, the dark plum/ruby-hued 2003 Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard (86% Zinfandel and 14% Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet, Carignan, and who knows what else) displays tremendous power allied with surprising elegance and finesse - a nearly impossible combination for old vine Zinfandel made in a pedal-to-the-metal style. Nevertheless, the use of French oak, massaging of this rustic varietal into something with finesse and elegance (the secret is probably the old vines), and bottling without filtration, has resulted in a wine with gorgeous blackberry, raspberry, peppery notes, refreshing, vibrant acidity, huge depth, and a multilayered palate. This superb Zinfandel should last for 5-7 years.
Ruby-red. Reticent nose hints at framboise without obvious sweetness. Dense on entry, with blackberry, licorice and floral flavors framed and enlivened by bright acidity. Boasts considerable extract and power. A mouthfilling, tannic Zinfandel that's big but not overly sweet. This was aged in 33% new French oak, a bit more than was used for the other 2003 Zins here. 91(+?) points.
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