95 Points - limited
Rare Syrah release from the Radiant Ridge Vineyard from Carlisle, one of our favorite small producers! Very limited. If you’re a lover of Northern Rhônes, you’ll find a lot to like in this cool-ish climate Syrah.
95 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The Carlisle Syrah Radiant Ridge is fabulous. Inky, rich and savory, the 2018 captures all of the signatures of this cool site on the border of the Bennett Valley appellation. Black pepper, lavender, sage and spice add layers of dimension to a core on blue/purplish fruit. The 20% whole clusters are beautifully woven into the wine’s fabric. What I admire most about the 2018 is the interplay of textural richness and cool-climate savoriness. A compelling wine. That’s all there is to it."
93 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "From the cooler Bennett Valley in Sonoma, the Carlisle Syrah Radiant Ridge Vineyard is all Syrah and has a cool-climate, complex, almost Cornas-like vibe that I certainly love. Black and blue fruits, olives, bacon fat, and ground pepper all dominate the bouquet, and this beauty hits the palate with loads of Syrah meatiness, medium to full body, ripe, polished (yet present) tannins, and a great finish. It's beautifully done and is undeniably California Syrah yet seems to have one foot in the Northern Rhône."
Robert Parker: "...From humble beginnings in 1998, Carlisle continues to go from strength to strength, growing from a solid philosophy of sourcing mainly Zinfandel and Rhône varieties from ancient vineyards in Sonoma and further afield. So, most of the vines used by Mike and Kendall Officer were planted from 1888 to 1934. From 2013, they have their own winery in which to create their magic—the old Robert Mueller winery in Russian River Valley."
A fantastic red from Bedrock winemaker Morgan-Twain Peterson, one of the hottest young winemakers in California.
90 Points Robert Parker "Best Buy": "A Mediterranean blend of Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah and assorted mixed blacks fermented with native yeasts and aged in primarily neutral containers (15% in new French oak), it is a California version of a high-class Cotes du Rhone. Lots of berry fruit intermixed with lavender, pepper and meaty black cherry and black currant flavors emerge from this satisfying, round, expansive, generous red. An outstanding, killer value that should provide pleasure over the next 1-2 years. If there is a better value in California wine, I would like to know about it."
....Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the most impressive young winemakers I have ever met, and it’s not just because he grew up the son of a famous producer. Making wines at this level requires talent, passion, hard work and a great palate, none of which is easily inherited. Along with Mike Officer of Carlisle, Twain-Peterson is on a mission to rediscover what he calls California’s old-vine “heritage” vineyards. These historic sites planted by California’s early immigrants, often home to unknown field blends, remain some of the most fascinating vineyards in California. Officer and Twain-Peterson were tired of seeing these old sites gobbled up by industrial-scale wineries, so they decided to do something about it. Bravo."
New York Times: "This red blend is a perpetually excellent value from Bedrock Wine Company which makes a wide variety of terrific, unmanipulated wines from old California vineyards. The array of groups includes zinfandel, carignan, syrah and petite sirah, and vintages are mixed as well, a welcome tactic. The result is an easygoing, lively wine that is delicious and versatile. Too often, inexpensive California reds are inflated with oak flavorings and other enhancements intended to imitate the characteristics of more expensive wines. Not this one, and it makes you think about how good these humble wines could be if other producers would permit them the dignity of authenticity."
An amazing value from the South of France - hurry!
95 Points Decanter: "60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish. *Gold Medal Winner Decanter Asia Wine Awards.*
Robert Parker: "A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, the Cotes du Rhone Saint-Esprit is a screaming value. If offers bold black cherry and blueberry fruit aromas, lively fruit flavors, silky tannins and a crisp, lengthy mocha-tinged finish. Drink this fun, bouncy little wine over the next couple of years."