A dollop of Carignane seems to give the 2012 Zinfandel Papera Ranch gorgeous aromatic lift to play off the wine's deep layers of fruit. Silky tannins support sweet red fruit, flowers, spices and licorice in a sexy Zinfandel that should drink beautifully right out of the gate. The blend is 96% Zinfandel and 4% Carignane. I tasted a stunning range of wines during my recent visit to Carlisle. Proprietor Mike Officer and his winemaker/viticulturist Jay Maddox have recently moved into a new, barn-like winery in Windsor stacked to the ceiling with barrels. Carlisle specializes in old-vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrahs, most of which come from old-vine, heritage sites planted by Italian immigrants going back to the late 1800s. (AG)
One of the larger cuvées (658 cases), the stunning 2012 Zinfandel Papera Ranch (96% Zinfandel and 4% Carignane) comes from a vineyard planted in 1934. It was aged in 25% new French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Copious notes of sweet black raspberries, kirsch, lavender, licorice and a touch of oak are present in this full-bodied, nicely proportioned Zinfandel that builds incrementally, and has a broad, savory texture as well as impressive purity. Drink this beauty over the next decade or more. (RP)
(includes 4% carignane; 15.4% alcohol): Inky purple. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes black and blue fruit liqueur, incense and candied flowers, with an intense spicy overtone. Sappy, incisive and pure, offering densely packed boysenberry and cassis flavors sharpened by juicy acidity. Weighty and seamless in texture, finishing with excellent clarity and smooth, slow-building tannins. This substantial zin would be great with braised red meats.
Supple and well-structured, with a succulent core of fruit. Floral boysenberry and licorice aromas lean toward sleekly jammy flavors of blueberry, cherry, brown baking spices and pepper. (Web Only-2015)
The site was planted in 1934 to mostly Zinfandel, and not much in the way of Mixed Blacks, which was unusual for the time. This wine is somewhat sanguine, a concoction of red berries, baked strawberries and plum that's soft and weighty, with a streak of elegance. Almost ripped out for Pinot Noir, the vineyard holds on, thanks to this producer and a handful of others. Enjoy through 2022. *Cellar Selection* (VB)
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