Carlisle’s Petite Sirahs are treated like this powerful, but under-appreciated varietal should be. From very old vines, the 2007 Petite Sirah Palisade Vineyard is an amazing example of this varietal that should age for 30+ years. Blueberry, blackberry, camphor, licorice, incense, and graphite notes are followed by a wine with massive concentration and density as well as tremendous purity and depth. Although surprisingly accessible (a characteristic of this vintage), it will unquestionably last for three decades.. Mike Officer is quickly rising to the top of the qualitative pyramid when it comes to Zinfandel, and, more recently, Petite Sirah and Syrah. Working from old vine Zinfandel vineyards in Dry Creek, Sonoma, and Russian River, he is giving some of Napa’s top-notch Zinfandel producers, such as Biale and Turley, a run for their money. Starting as a home winemaker in 1998, Officer is now zeroing in on a 5,000 case production of wines that are poster children for hedonism and exuberant joy. Carlisle’s 2007s reveal that vintage’s luscious fruit. Syrah should be selling better in the marketplace than it does. Perhaps consumers are confused by the ocean of cheap Shiraz from Australia, and fail to recognize how much quality California Syrah offers. Carlisle’s Syrahs are all noteworthy efforts. Brilliant winemaking, a highly committed proprietor, and extraordinarily fair prices make Carlisle a no-brainer for wine consumers looking for fun. (RP)
This explosive wine delivers a core of concentrated rich blackberry, huckleberry, boysenberry, dark chocolate and ripe red raspberry flavors, with accents of spice, cedar and tobacco. Despite the concentration, this is supple and elegant, with a long finish and a hint of violet aromatics. (MW)
Glass-staining ruby. Exotically perfumed bouquet of red and dark berries, cherry-cola and dried flowers; no way I'd have picked this as a petite sirah. Sweet black raspberry and blackcurrant flavors display excellent depth and are supported by fine-grained tannins. Becomes more vivacious with air and finishes with impressively pure, sweet dark berries. This is as elegant a rendition of this grape as I can recall tasting. (ST)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)