Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.






I generally refrain from selecting a wine as my Wine of the Week that is not generally available.  This is a wine that is generally only available to those of us fortunate enough to be on the winery’s mailing list.  Add to that, the wine is several vintages old, making it even harder to buy.  That said, even though this wine has sold out long ago through the winery and didn’t make it onto your local wine store’s shelf, it’s still available.  The wine makes rather frequent appearances on winebid.com.  This bottle was purchased via Wine Bid to supplement the bottles I was able to get via the winery’s mailing list.  A quick check this morning shows a bottle on the Wine Bid site with no current bids.  You may be able to snag the bottle for the starting bid price of $35.


I wanted to check in on this wine again.  I had a bottle a couple years ago and felt it needed some cellar time.  What’s a better time to open a big red then a cold November day in Wisconsin and to pair it with a thick rib-eye hot and juicy off the grill?



The Winery

In the winery’s words – We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and petite sirah).  While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.


Rich.  Lusty.  Hedonistic.  These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines.  However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex.  Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds.  Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult.  We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.


In my words – This is the one mailing list you have to join.  Mike Officer makes some of the best wines coming out of California and sells them at incredibly reasonable prices.  I was lucky to be an early fan of the winery and was able to join the mailing list immediately.  For the unlucky people who were not able to jump on early, the mailing list is full.  The winery actually has a waiting list to get on the mailing list.  No one can accurately say how long it will actually take to move from the waiting list to the mailing list for one very good reason…no one, or probably more accurately, very few people drop off the list.  These are usually outstanding wines and with their pricing, these are some of the best QPR wines out there.


Much more information on the winery, their wines and access to their mailing list is available by clicking here.


Yorkville Highlands


Here is a picture of the Yorkville Highlands

courtesy of the Yorkville Highlands Growers & Vintners Association.




2007 Carlisle Petite Sirah Yorkville Highlands – $34.50

This wine is 100% Petite Sirah.  The wine was aged in French oak barrels, 28% of which were new.  The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.  The wine was released in November 2009 and the winery is sold out of this wine.  Like I noted above, this wine makes fairly frequent appearances on the Wine Bid site.


The wine has 14.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The total production of this wine was only 152 cases.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, midnight purple color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, cracked black peppercorns, road tar, blueberries, camphor, minerals, licorice, dried flowers, dark chocolate and some earthiness.  The wine is full bodied with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate is full of rich fruit and peppery spices on the front end with minerals, dark chocolate and flowers coming in later.  The finish is long and full of sweet fruit and spice.  This is drinking very nicely and should hold and potentially improve for several years.  This is not a big, massively extracted Petite Sirah, this would make a very civilized and well-mannered guest on your dinner table.  (93 pts)

2007 Carlisle Petite Sirah Yorkville Highlands

2007 Carlisle Petite Sirah Yorkville Highlands




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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.