Oh Zinfandel. One of my true loves. I was first introduced to Zinfandel when I was about 24 and never looked back. Just as champagne evokes emotions of excitement and celebration for many, Zinfandel reminds me of a romantic Friday evening, fireside in the mountains after skiing all day.
Another reason I love Zinfandel is because I have had the privilege of introducing so many people to this beautiful wine! Because of the reputation White Zinfandel had many years ago, many people assume Zinfandel is a sweet, pink, cheap wine. So, when I meet a Cabernet Sauvignon lover, I’m always excited to hear their response regarding Zinfandel!
So, I have been in anticipation of this week since I added Zinfandel to the 52 Weeks of Wine Training Program schedule months ago! A trait you’ll often see when shopping for wine is Zinfandel versus Old Vine Zinfandel. Typically, the older the vines, the more consistent and concentrated the grapes – both very desirable traits. Therefore, you may expect a fuller-bodied with more flavor depth in an old vine Zin versus regular Zinfandel. This is not always the case, but typically the reason why a producer would want to advertise the “Old Vine” status. And this 2015 Carol Shelton Old Vine Zinfandel was consistent with these expectations.
Let me first say, I do have high standards for Zinfandel. It is one of the few varietals that I will splurge on purchasing outside of the “affordable” $15 and less range. When I first poured this wine, the first image to cross my mind was Jessica Rabbit. It was a beautiful ruby color with amazing legs. The aromas were jammy, but not overboard, and balanced with cigar and vanilla. For the flavor, again, jammy but not Petite Sirah jammy. It had a subtle hint of vanilla, mild oak, and an incredibly smooth but long finish. This is a fantastic and affordable Old Vine Zinfandel! This wine typically ranges from $15 to $19 in price. I gave it a 5 out of 5 corks rating.