Wine Review – 2006 Carlisle Syrah, Sonoma, California

carlislesonomactysyrahfrontWinery: Carlisle Winery and Vineyards

Bottling: 2006 Sonoma County Syrah

Region: California

Sub-Region: Sonoma

Estimated Retail Price: $25

Purchase Details: Purchased at R. Field Wine Company on the island of Oahu for $25

Tasting Notes: In typical syrah fashion, this was an inky, dark, opaque pool of liquid nitrogen in a glass.  On the nose, lots of smoke, wild berries and spice.  In the mouth I tasted more wild dark berries, dark plums, smoke, new leather and a little bit of meat.  This was a quintessential Carlisle wine.  It was massively dense, chewy and big, but not heavy or cloying at all.  The wine carried its 15.1% alcohol level really well, just like its sister syrahs and zinfandels in the Carlisle family.  Tannins were definitely in the house, but they certainly weren’t so overpowering that the fat from a nicely marbled rib eye steak wouldn’t be able to tame them.

Food Pairing: This went really well with the bevy of Chinese food on the table.  Salt and pepper pork chop, roast duck with bao buns with hoisin sauce, stir fried dried string beans with ground pork and lettuce cups with some ground chicken magic and oyster sauce.

Winery & Other Background Information: I continue to be impressed by the wines from Carlisle Winery.  If you like dense, big, chewy, but well-balanced and delicious carlislesonomactysyrahbacksyrahs and zins, you must track down their wines.  They’ve really become sort of an underground cult producer of California zins and syrahs of late.

On the wine industry score front, they’ve been just killing it year after year.  Most of their wines, and they make a lot, hit 90 points or more from Spectator in every vintage.  When you look at what they charge for their wines relative to the accolades they get, they’re hard to beat.  Most recently, 95 points for a $30 Dry Creek zinfandel.  Crazy!  Plus their wines age really well.  Scores and collecting aside, their wines are absolutely delicious.

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