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Carol Shelton        www.carolshelton.com
                           3354-B Coffey Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
                       (707) 575-3441

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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