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2014 Carlisle "Montafi Ranch" Russian River Valley Zinfandel SKU #1252049

Price: $54.99

WS 96 RP 93-95 VN 92-94
WE 93
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

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, they picked over the course of several days and divided the fruit between multiple tanks to give them a broader range of flavors and aromas for creating the best blend possible. All French oak but only 20% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Winery note: "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."

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Staff Reviews

  • Steve Bearden
    By: Steve Bearden
    K&L Staff Member
    Here is a big, brawny Zin with plenty of spice infused mid-palet fruit and a bramble edge to the long finish. This is deeply fruity, firm and almost chewy in texture with an overall sense of polish, balance and harmony. Despite all the fruit this dry and structured wine is neither sweet nor overripe.
  • Diana Turk
    By: Diana Turk
    K&L Staff Member
    Brambly and interesting, the 2014 Carlisle "Montafi Ranch" Russian River Valley proved to be a hit at our last staff tasting. There is complexity here, with layered spice and even some green, faintly eucalyptus notes. It's equally lush, structured, and surprisingly easy drinking, but the main takeaway is that this 88 year old vine Zinfandel is just delicious.
  • Andrew Stevens
    By: Andrew Stevens
    K&L Staff Member
    I tend to look at Russian River Valley for Chardonnay and for Pinot Noir, however this Zinfandel from Carlisle completely caught my attention. Rich, juicy, red fruits offer a lot of body while staying away from the more berry pie flavors found in Zinfandel from some other parts of California. The wine had heft without being flabby and coated the mouth a generous tannin structure. Bring on the big dinners and see how well this wine stands up to them.
  • Bryan Brick
    By: Bryan Brick
    K&L Staff Member
    We are very excited here at K&L to be able to offer, for the first time ever, one of Mike Officer’s amazing Carlisle Zinfandels via one of our e-mails. I’ve been working with Mike for a handful of years, happily taking 1 case here, 3 cases there of his pure, intense, powerful and critically acclaimed Zinfandels and watching them disappear almost instantly. So this year when Mike told me I could take a large chunk of the famed Montafi Vineyard I kind of thought he was screwing with me. Luckily he wasn’t. Planted in 1926 the Montafi Vineyard is typical of its time in that is it inter-planted with numerous varietals including, but not limited to, Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Peloursin and Syrah. Deep set with layers of spice this is one special Zin. It’s rarity in the market is only matched by its rarity in style: big, lush, ripe and fully fruited but never feeling jammy, complexity above all else with exotic spices abounds and bright lifting energy throughout. This to me is what great Zinfandel is all about. Get some while you can.


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