If you aren’t already familiar with Carol Shelton and her library of delicious Zinfandels then it is time we formally introduce you. An expert winemaker and former poet from California’s Mendocino County, Shelton’s single-vineyard, old vine Zins have won her countless medals throughout her career. Carol has been labeled “Winemaker of the Year” on numerous occasions and is widely cited as one of the most awarded female winemakers in the United States. Over the course of time she has built an impressive resume by spending countless hours at Australia’s Saltram Winery, Napa Valley’s Robert Mondavi Winery and historic Windsor Vineyards. After years of feeling the pressures of working in male-dominated cellars, Carol came to her entrepreneurial senses and gave birth to the Carol Shelton Wine label. With the help of husband Mitch Mackenzie, her dreams of bottling cleverly named, exceptional wines came true.
Shelton’s rich and creamy “Wild Thing” Zinfandel continues to be a clear standout at a modest $20 pricepoint. Harvested from Cox Vineyard, a deeply rooted Mendocino plot dating back to the 1950s, these old-vine grapes are fermented with naturally occurring wild yeasts, ergo the name “Wild Thing”. Rocky soils and a rigorous irrigation regime help these vines produce impressively mature wine despite the young age. The “Zen-like Zins” of Carol Shelton’s wine portfolio prove that the renaissance of passionate Zinfandel winemaking in California is alive and well.
Carol Shelton Wild Thing Old Vine Zinfandel 2009
Related scores – WS: 90
Market price: $20 USD
Blend: 78% Zinfandel, 12% Carignane, 7% Petit Syrah, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
Decanting time: 10-30 min
Glassware: Riedel Vinum Series Zinfandel Glasses