Monday, February 24, 2014
Carol Shelton Monga Zin Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
Carol Shelton's winery in Santa Rosa makes a Zinfandel from grapes grown in Southern California. As an L.A.-based wine guy, I thought it was a shame I hadn't tried it. Ms. Shelton was happy to provide a sample for the purpose of this article, and plenty of information about this truly old-vine Zin - along with a few pictures, which I will share here. Also, her Karma Zin Bastoni Vineyard Sonoma County Zinfandel gets good mention in this article by Jon Bonné on SFGate.
CCOF organic plot located right at the intersection of the 210 and 15 Freeways, 70 miles east of Los Angeles in the desert known as the Inland Empire. The dry-farmed bush vines date back to 1918, so there can be no argument that it is an old vine Zin. Tiny grape clusters are a third the size of typical Zinfandel clusters. They yield only one-quarter to one-half tons of fruit per acre, a very small offering.
Shelton's wine has a medium ruby hue and a wonderfully complex nose. Aromas of brambly cherry are layered with a dusty chalkiness and a whiff of caramel on the side. Pretty floral hints even peek through that aromatic display. The palate brings brilliant cherry and raspberry notes on a bed of spices. Anise, allspice, cinnamon, sage and nutmeg show their colors one after the next. Lively acidity and toothy tannins make for a great food wine - pair it with a grilled rib eye laced with rosemary.
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