A few quick thoughts on the 2016 Carlisle Mourvèdre from Bedrock Vineyard in the Sonoma Valley.
Mike Officer started Carlisle in 1998 with his wife, Kendall, after years of home-winemaking. Quickly growing to over 1000 cases, they hired Jay Maddox to assist as winemaker.
Specializing in old vine and field blend vineyards, Officer helped establish the Historic Vineyard Society with Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock, Tegan Passalacqua of Turley, David Gates of Ridge Vineyards and Robert Biale.
The Bedrock Vineyard was initially planted just before the Civil War in 1854 by future generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Joe Hooker. But those vines were lost to phylloxera in the 1880s with Senator George Hearst, the father William Randolph Hearst, replanting the site in 1888.
The blocks of 1888 Mourvèdre used by Carlisle and Bedrock Wine Co. for their Ode to Lulu Rosé are some of the oldest plantings of the variety in California.
The 2016 vintage is a blend of 96% Mourvèdre and 4% Syrah with the wine aged in 25% new French oak barrels. Only 109 cases were produced.
High-intensity nose. Lots of dark fruit–blackberries and cherries–with a subtle smokey quality. Like someone tossed them in a roasting pan on a grill. Black pepper and star anise spice as well.
On the palate, the full-bodied weight of the fruit carries through. The medium-plus acidity amplifies the juiciness of the fruit and accentuates the savory smokey flavors. It also brings out some herbal notes like thyme and bay leaf. The medium-plus tannins are very ripe and mouth-filling. Long finish lingers on smoke and spice.
I bought this from the Carlisle mailing list at $38 and am kicking myself for not buying more. It could be in the $50-60 range and would still be a steal.
This is an immensely complex and delicious wine that is in a great spot now. But it’s only going to get better as more tertiary flavors develop. Should have bought more.