2021 Carlisle Zinfandel, Saitone Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma – V 95, JD 95, WS 94

2021 Carlisle Zinfandel, Saitone Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma – V 95, JD 95, WS 94



It’s been a long five-year wait but Saitone is back!  Just a few hundred yards north of Papera Ranch, planted in 1895, Saitone Vineyard is one of if not the oldest vineyards in the Piner-Olivet region of the Russian River Valley. Now owned by Williams Selyem, Carlisle Vineyards is incredibly fortunate to receive a share some of this very special fruit.  Picked on September 29th, the must was cold soaked for five days before inoculation with a local strain of yeast, appropriately named Williams Selyem. Pressed to all French oak, 25% new. Lightly fined with gelatin to smooth the palate but bottled unfiltered. Medium-dark ruby. Aromas of black raspberry and cherry cola are highlighted by suggestions of black licorice and lavender. Of all our 2019 Russian River Valley Zinfandels, this comes across as the darkest in profile, almost Southern Rhône in character and reminding of an old favorite old-vine Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grenache cuvées from the lieu-dit of Chapouin. On the palate, medium-full bodied. Flavors of black and blue fruits persist in the chalky yet gently tannic finish. At once both powerful and graceful, this will benefit from a couple additional years in the bottle. Drink this old-vine beauty from 2024 through 2030.

“The 2021 Zinfandel Saitone Vineyard has a light touch of reductive lift on opening before revealing its more potent liqueur of ripe fruits and Luxardo cherry, boysenberry and raspberry preserve, black pepper, and lavender. Full bodied, it offers more lift on the palate, with tangy red berries, crunchy fresh herbs, and wildflowers. It is long on the palate, with lift and a savory appeal. Drink 2025-2035.” – 95 points, Jeb Dunnuck

“The 2021 Zinfandel Saitone Vineyard is bright, effusive and full of character. A wine of total nuance and class, the 2021 is immediately captivating right out of the gate. Orange57 peel, cinnamon, red/purplish fruit and subtle earthy notes abound.  Floral, citrus and spice notes lift the finish. This mid-weight, flavorful Zinfandel is lights out”. – 95 points, Vinous (Antonio Galloni)

“Supple and dynamic, with richly layered blackberry cobbler flavors accented with bramble, licorice and savory pepper notes as this red’s complexity builds toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2033. 263 cases produced.” – 94 points, Wine Spectator