Which Carlisle are you drinking?

You had an off bottle. Paired with smoked spare ribs, the wine popped with the food and even after the first pour some 3 hours later still had decent fruit on it. The primary zip is gone. This was definitely better paired with food than by itself.

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Nice man - glad that was the case! No hollow mid-palate or disappearing finish is a good thing, ha!

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Was very meek when first tasting, it unfurled nicely and then with the bark from the smoked ribs it popped beautifully. I still like to drink these in the 4-5 year window but will hold a bottle or so longer to see how they age beyond that.

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I have a special dinner tonight where the food is sort of down the middle- pasta w chorizo, duck breast, salmon. I have a decent amount of ‘18 and newer Carlisle and I know I’ve had a few that drink closer to a lighter, almost Pinot, profile.

Any suggestions from recent releases that are drinking well and fit a profile that can flex from a heavier fish to lighter meat dish?


Just wanted to mention that on my recent Carlisle offering my credit card got declined and I received an email digitally signed by Mike Officer asking for a different payment. When I called the next day to provide a new card it was Mike who answered the phone. He remarked it’s a 4 person operation out there—he, his wife, his son and a college friend. I kept the conversation brief, not wanting to sound like a rock band groupie. I did send along a couple of questions the following day though (Were his vineyards affected by the torrential rains? Did Carlisle offer any library wines since that would be a big draw for me to visit since zin bottles never last more than a year at best in my home?). He sent me a very detailed email with thorough answers to both of my inquires. So kudos to a very engaging and responsive winery owner, Mike Officer! And yes, I did try to lure him back onto WB but he remarked his time is quite taken as it is-----answering emails of Carlisle fans like myself I’m sure!


Don’t believe any of it, Mike just plugs those question’s into Chat GPT.

Kidding, of course, have known Mike since shortly after I bought my first Carlisle, a 1999 Zin. One of the nicest, knowledgeable, most diligent and responsive winemakers you’ll meet.


2014 Monte Rosso Zin was drniking very well and held up well on the 2nd and 3rd days. 2016 The Integral seemed to have lost most of its fruit and was not very pleasant to drink.

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I’ve said it before, Mike is a class act.

Not only that, if any of your questions left any doubt in his mind, expect a followup email in a few days stating what he did to clear up his doubts and a full answer.

2013 SC PS has been a hit or miss for me, and some friends I exchange notes with.

Bottle variation or just too young?

This last bottle was beautiful over three nights with gobs of fruit and chalky tannins. Other bottles came off as PSLite!


2013 Monte Rosso Zin. Drinking great. Huge nose of dark fruit. Medium bodied and loaded with blackberry and spice. Nice acidity with tannins that are silky and come in late. No need to rush on these but no reason not to go for it either. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.


Had my first Carlisle over the weekend – 2015 Rossi Ranch Zin, purchased via WineBid. This was very enjoyable – massive ripe blueberry/blackberry on the nose which was balanced out with some orangepeel/herbal, higher-pitched/lifted character. On the palate dense and concentrated berries, almost liqueur-like; dusting of spices; balanced acidity sufficient to lift the very lush fruit and avoid flab; quite silky, elegant texture (surprising given the powerful ripe fruit and high alc content), with mild, dusty tannins.

Only gripe is a bit of alcohol heat - not the most covert ~15.5% wine I’ve ever had! For what it’s worth, many notes I’ve looked at emphasize a red-fruit character that I am not really picking up on here.

Looking forward to working my way through the others I picked up: '15 Carlisle, Pagani, Papera and '16 Montafi.


Opened a 2015 Carlisle “Limerick Lane” Zinfandel last night and found it to be in a perfect spot for my palate. The big fruit had receded a bit and the result was a nicely balanced medium bodied wine with silky tannins. Delicious.

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I have been drinking alot of 2015 Carlisle zins over the last 6+ months and agree with your assessment that these wines are in a wonderful place to enjoy now. Over 2 decades of buying and drinking Carlisles, my “sweet spot” has been 5-7 years from vintage, with some even older. Patience is rewarded with these wines!


2019 Syrah Sierra Mar Vineyard is drinking great now as well as on day 2 and 3 . Huge fruit!

I really really wish I could buy more Carlisle. I can’t keep a bottle for more than 3 years. Might be my vote for best red wine producer in Sonoma County based on taste, vineyard sources and price. Very hard to beat. When I’m all grownz up, I’ll buy more.

How long did you wait after shipping? Was thinking about an early pop and pour as well.

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The 2019 has been in my cellar for a year I think. A PNP works, it was excellent at the first sip.

2013 Carlisle Hayne Zinfandel. - I think this is at the peak of its drinking window. Wonderful and unique fruit flavor with perfect balance and no heat. Tanins are resolved. Nice mouth-feel. Opened up over the first hour to greater complexity and lenghth. Saved 1/2 the bottle (poured into 375, corked and left on the counter) for the next day and it was still drinking fine. One of the most enjoyable Zins I have had for a long time. Wish there was more.


@Sherr1_Shap1r0 @Andrew_Demaree You were spot on (not that i doubted you). 15’s are in a KILLER spot right now!

2015 Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel, Sonoma County. Word around the campfire is that the 2015 Carlisle’s are on fire right now (pun intended)…and I 1000% concur. This was a beautiful mix of brambly raspberries, baking spice, and a huge wave of acidity to wash everything down in a medium+ bodied mouthful of goodness. Love Carlisle. Love Montafi. And this is about as good as it gets. Cheers @carlislewinery


‘17 SC Zin was perfect last night with BBQ chicken and veggies.

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