Vineyard: Just a stone's throw from Carlisle Vineyard, this "grand dame" of the Russian River Valley was planted in 1934 by Charley (Carlo) Papera. While many old-vine vineyards contain plenty of mixed black varieties, most of the blocks at Papera Ranch are 95+% Zinfandel. One block, however, does contain a significant amount of Carignane with a sprinkling of Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Valdiguié. Given its cool location, this vineyard is typically picked in late October.
Orientation: 102' elevation
Soil: Huichica loam
Vinification: The must was cold soaked for 5 days before indigenous fermentation began. After 16 days on the skins it was pressed to French oak, 25% new
Aging: aged for 12-14 months in French oak barrels 25% being new.
Production: 658 cases
Notes: Penetrating aromas of framboise liqueur with a touch of savory herbs. On the palate it's balanced with intense red berry fruit and a full texture and bright acidity.
Publication: Wine advocate
I’ll just briefly summarize the 2014s. It was the earliest vintage ever for Mike Officer and probably he’ll beat that early harvest record in 2015. In this case, he was finished by October 6, which was a first, and it will be interesting to see if he eclipses that in 2015, which was looking even earlier. The production levels were relatively abundant for Mike Officer and the wines fruit-forward, although softer and less reserved than some of the 2013s. While not quite as opaque in color, they are loaded with fruit, supple and luscious. The only white wine, the Grüner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard, makes an appearance in 2014, and it’s another beauty – it’s crisp and the only wine in bottle. The other wines all stood out and will, no doubt, merit outstanding ratings across the board for their intensity, richness, and full-bodied power. If you already know what Mike Officer does, and the style of his wines, you won’t be disappointed in his 2014s. You may even like them as much as any vintage, given the fact that this year shows a lot of up-front fruit and charm.
Black cherry, violet, lavender, blueberry and spice notes give the 2014 Zinfandel Papera Ranch much of its distinctive cool, bracing personality. The acids are bright, but not at all intrusive. This is another striking Zinfandel from Carlisle. There is wonderful depth and pliancy here.