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2011 Carlisle Winery Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard Russian River Valley
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94 Points | International Wine Cellar , May/June 2013

(88% zinfandel and the rest a blend of "over 37" varieties, chiefly alicante bouschet, petite sirah, grand noir, peloursin, trousseau, tempranillo, nuscadell, malvasia and muscat; from vines that were planted in 1927; 15.8% alcohol):  Inky purple.  Heady scents of black raspberry, boysenberry, incense and candied violet, along with subtle notes of black pepper and olive tapenade.  This smells a lot like syrah.  Lush, spicy and expansive, offering powerful black and blue fruit compote flavors and exotic floral and spice qualities.  Clings impressively on the youthfully tannic finish, repeating the blue fruit and floral notes.

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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

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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