2013 Carlisle Sonoma County Zinfandel

SKU #1221560 90-92 points Vinous

 Dark stone fruits, leather, game, smoke and tobacco are some of the notes that emerge from the 2013 Zinfandel (Sonoma County). Sweet spices, violets and smoke add nuance on the finish. The fruit is decidedly ripe, flashy and exuberant. This is one of the vest best values in California wine readers will come across. It is that simple. Vineyard sites include Papera, Pagani and San Lorenzo, which is an Alexander Valley, all planted between 1881 and 1932. It goes without saying, but this is simply a stunning bottle of wine for the money. (AG)  (1/2015)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From a cross-section of Sonoma County, the medium to full-bodied 2013 Zinfandel Sonoma offers delicious red and black fruit, herb and barbecue smoke characteristics as well as a lush, easygoing mouthfeel. Sporting 15% natural alcohol, it comes from old-vine vineyards planted between 1888 and 1934. (RP)  (12/2014)

Jancis Robinson

 Rich and peppery. Full of character and very much a mixed bag with herbs and spices. Carries its 15% very well. Serve relatively cool.  (2/2015)

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Price: $39.99

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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).