We finished w/ two mystery wines at this week’s Bulfon tasting:
Tyrus Evan Claret DelRioVnyd/RogueVlly (14.5%; CS/CabFranc/Malbec/Merlot) Carlton 2004: Very dark color; some pickle juice/herbal earthy very funky/strange slight herbal/Cab nose; soft rather earthy slight herbal/Cab bit soupy very pungent/funky/strange flavor w/ light smooth tannins; long funky/pungent slight herbal/Cab soft/soupy slight metallic/tangy finish w/ light tannins; a very weird wine that’s not at all attractive; almost like a Belgian beer. $34.50 (KK)
Carlisle PetiteSirah DryCreekVlly (58 cs; 16.6%) 2001: Very dark/near black color; very strong Am.oak/toasty/toasted coconut intense boysenberry/blackberry/PS/licorice rather alcoholic/fumey overripe nost; soft/fat/porky quite alcoholic intense boysenberry/blackberry/PS/huge fruit quite toasty/toasted coconut flavor w/ modest soft/ripe tannins; very long hot/alcoholic strong toasted coconut/Am.oak soft/fat heavy-bodied/mouthfilling very ripe/boysenberry/PS finish w/ light soft/ripe tannins; a vary ripe/over-the-top PS that’s rather tiring to drink.
A wee BloodyPulpit:
I was rather disappointed in the Carlisle. Usually Mike’s wines carry their alcohols rather well. With age, thise one was showing very hot & fumey. A soft/fat/soupy PS that’s probably going to go nowhere.
Yup, Julian…16.6%. I’ve had wines of Mike’s at 15%-16+% that I thought carried their alcohol well.
This one did not…maybe because of the age. But it didn’t have any of the raisened/pruney/late-harvesty
character that those winds tend to show as they age…just huge/ripe fruit.
I have fond memories of the 2001 Petite Syrah, first tasting it out of the barrel in Spring 2002. Having been schooled on the very tannic and structured Petites of the mid-70’s which took forever to age (Ridge and Freemark Abbey York Creek, Cuvaison, and Stonegate), the Carlisle was a revelation with its soaring, explosive, gorgeous fruit. It was like no Petite I had ever tasted. My wife, not a red wine drinker for the most part, couldn’t understand why Mike hadn’t bottled it already so we could buy some (and told Mike so). Mike has clearly changed his winemaking style, and this wine probably doesn’t resemble the wines that have been released since the 2005 vintage (the last one I tasted is the 2004 which was drinking very well and did not appear overly alcoholic). I did buy some of the 2014 Petite, but won’t taste it for many years.
I’ve always found the Carlisle drinkability chart on their website to be very honest and helpful. For example, on the 2001 DCV Petite Sirah, the drinkability window was updated of 5/5/2008 as being from 2003-2011. I’ve rarely been guided incorrectly by this information.
You can find the chart here: Drinkability Chart — Carlisle
I was indirectly the source of this Carlisle, as was Tom (I got it from Tom after he had ordered it from Carlisle). But I found that I didn’t enjoy drinking any of my older Carlisles, to a signficant degree because of how alcoholic they were. I’ve never been really into the high-alcohol CA wines, and that tendency just became stronger over time. So I brought my box of Carlisles up to Tom’s group and offered them at $25/bottle.
One of our fellow tasters bought four, and brought this as a mystery wine. The most amazing thing was how undeveloped the color was. It appeared to be a brand-new wine. Big and juicy, but astoundingly alcoholic.
No one guessed Carlisle and no one guessed Petite Sirah, though one of our number says he was about to guess Carlisle when Tom unveiled the bottle. We were all surprised, particularly by the fact it was 15 years old.
For what it’s worth, one of the other bottles I sold also turned up as a mystery wine at a previous tasting. It was the Bennet Valley Syrah, 2003 I believe, and it was fantastic.