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2008 Carlisle Winery Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley
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91 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - May/June 2010

($34; includes 8% carignane and 3% petite sirah) Inky purple. Vibrant red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by licorice and potpourri. Energetic red fruit flavors are firmed by dusty tannins and lifted by bright acidity, which adds definition. Finishes brisk, with a hint of bitter cherry skin and very good persistence. This will be even better with a couple years of bottle age. "Dry Creek is all about cherry," Officer said.

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About California

It is remarkable that an industry essentially less than a half-century old could capture the attention of the American wine-buying public to the degree that California has. Powerful consumer interest in California wine is driven by two major factors. The more obvious reason is that California's best wines, which come from grapes grown in...

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Zinfandel is not the rage it was in the 1980s and early 1990s, as there are now too many wines made from overripe fruit or from young vines, or overwhelmed by excessive use of new barrels. Today's Zin styles range from elegant, taut, and claret-like midweights to superripe and potty behemoths, with off-the-charts...
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