Carlisle Zin CarlisleVnyd/RRV (15.2%; Plntd by AlcidePelletti in 1927; + PS/AlicanteBouchet/GrandNoir; 750 cs) 2009: Med.dark w/ slight bricking; very strong blackberry/Zin/rather spicy fairly dusty/OV/bit earthy some cedary/pencilly/oak quite perfumed fairly complex/oldZin lovely nose; lightly tart very slight alcoholic strong raspberry/blackberry/RRV Zin very spicy/slight peppery rather dusty/OV some cedary/pencilly/oldZin flavor w/ light smooth/gentle tannins; very long/lingering slightly tart/tangy strong blackberry/Zin/very spicy/bit peppery/briary bit alcoholic quite dusty/OV bit cedary/pencilly/oldZin complex finish w/ light gentle tannins; starting to show some of that oldZin/cedary character but still plenty of blackberry fruit; in a very good place right now at middle age and moving towards the ShadyAcres Nursing Home to live out the rest of its yrs.
A wee BloodyPulpit:
This Carlisle was pretty much about where I expected it to be. Tannins are fully resolved and no reason to hold off on drinking it.
Had to reacquaint myself with what exactly the Grand Noir variety is all about. From the Carlisle website on their Dommen Ranch 90% Grand Noir bottling (2011):
“Readers of my notes on our old-vine Zinfandels have probably seen reference to the variety Grand Noir, or more fully, Grand Noir de la Calmette. We often find this variety, an 1855 cross of Petit Bouschet with Aramon noir, interspersed in old-vine vineyards, especially in the Russian River and Sonoma Valleys. As a teinturier (from French, meaning to dye or to tint) grape, it is red-fleshed and red-juiced (red grapes typically have clear juice) but not as deeply colored as Alicante Bouschet, another teinturier variety. There is seldom enough Grand Noir to pick and ferment separately but at Dommen Ranch, planted circa 1930 in the Russian River Valley, there are two small blocks of the variety. A veritable viticultural rarity! Being the curious type, not to mention a self-admitted grape junkie, I couldn’t resist the chance to try our hand with the fruit. What better way to learn what the variety might add to a blend!”