Tasting Notes Main Article
Carol Shelton www.carolshelton.com
3354-B Coffey Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Carol Shelton makes at least five single vineyard Zins a year, a late harvest Zin and a Zin-based Port. She also makes a few wines from other grapes, including a rosé, a dry white, a couple of sweet whites and the occasional special release dry red. The first vintage for the winery was 2000 and Carol now produces about 5000 cases per year. 20% off given to her wine club members.
By the time we got here, the fourth winery of the day, I was feeling a little lazy, so I only give short comments and scores below on those wines that sparked my interest. Although, all wines tasted are listed, in the order served. Joanne, their tasting room manager, poured the wines in their colorful, small and cozy tasting room. Carol joined us about halfway through giving interesting info about the wines.
2009 Carol Shelton Rendezvous Rosé (Mendocino) $15
100% Carignane 13.5% alc 231cases
88+ 2008 Carol Shelton Coquille Blanc (Paso Robles) $30
50% GrenacheBlanc, 25% Rousanne, 25% Viognier 13.8% alc 302cases
Overall: Dry, crisp, full-bodied with attractive fruit and Rousanne adding complexity.
2006 Carol Shelton Wild Thing Zinfandel (Mendocino) $24
90% Zinfandel, 10%Carignane 15.5% alc 1223cases
2007 Carol Shelton Monga Zinfandel (Cucamonga Valley) $21
100% Zinfandel 14.8% alc 1228cases
87 2007 Carol Shelton Rocky Reserve Florence Vineyard (Rockpile) $33
96% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah 14.8% alc 511cases
Overall: Very good Rockpile fruit with some tart minerality.
88 2006 Carol Shelton Maple Zin Maple Vineyard (Dry Creek Valley) $33
83% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 4% Carignane, 3% Red Field Blend 15.5% alc 411cases
Overall: Briary spice complements jammy Zinberry fruit with power.
89 2006 Carol Shelton Karma Zin Rue Vineyard (Russian River Valley) $33
85% Zinfandel, 15% Red Field Blend 14.7% alc 356cases
Overall: Shows more lively, tart Zinberry fruit than the last with interesting spice. Has RRV restraint, but could be a little more giving.
2008 Carol Shelton Sweet Caroline Late Harvest Trousseau Gris (Russian River Valley) $15 (375mL)
100% Trousseau Gris 13.0% alc, 7% Residual Sugar 352cases
89 2008 Carol Shelton Black Magic Late Harvest Zinfandel (Sonoma) $20 (375mL)
100% Zinfandel 15% alc, 7.5% Residual Sugar 437cases
Overall: Rich and tasty Zin fruit. Not overripe or overdone. Very enjoyable with rich cheeses or all by itself.
2005 Carol Shelton Tawny Monga Zinfandel Dessert Wine - Port (Cucamonga Valley) $33 (500mL)
97% Zinfandel, 3% Red Field Blend 18.4% alc, 8% Residual Sugar 194cases
Final Thoughts: Quite a variety of Zinfandels, which show interesting flavors and differences between regions. I also enjoyed the white Rhone blend from Paso Robles. In spite of this, I didn't find most of these to be exciting, just very good. The "interesting" components of the Zins will probably draw me back here sometime in the future to see if they gain more polish and excitement.
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