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Carol Shelton Pizazz Zinfandel 2013

Zinfandel from Lodi, California
  • WW89
14.8% ABV
  • WW89
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The winemaker's tasting notes include Zippy Bing cherry pie in a graham cracker crust, creamy Hershey's milk chocolate and a bit of toasted marshmallow - not sweet but soft and round balanced by juicy acidity, with creamy caramello oak and a long cherry finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 89
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
What is Lodi all about? 30 miles from California's state capital, Sacramento, this key viticultural area is often lost on the public with the melee of so many wine growing regions. Hot and dry, this dusty spot on the map has been gaining traction as an awesome place to grow Zinfandel. In a testament to the area, Winemaker/Owner Carol Shelton chose to honor Charlie Piazza by making an anagram of his name to "christen this classic old-style Zin." Indeed, this is true, the 2013 Carol Shelton Pizazz Zin exhibits ripe berries, brown stalks, and dried leaves in its flavors. The wine finishes with a pleasing cherry pie note. Drinks well now. (Tasted: July 5, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
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Carol Shelton

Carol Shelton

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Carol Shelton, Lodi, California
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Carol Shelton is widely cited as the most awarded winemaker in the United States. She has won countless medals for her wines and has been honored as Winemaker of the Year numerous times. After years of working with some of the industry's top winemakers and wineries, Carol continues to win awards and accolades for premium Zinfandels produced under her own brand, Carol Shelton Wines.

In 2000 Carol and her husband Mitch Mackenzie, a former software engineer, launched their own brand – Carol Shelton Wines. Faced with the opportunity to create her own identity and focus on whatever varietals she wanted, Carol chose Zinfandel.

Positioned between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Lodi appellation, while relatively far inland, is able to maintain a classic Mediterranean climate featuring warm, sunny days and cool evenings. This is because the appellation is uniquely situated at the end of the Sacramento River Delta, which brings chilly, afternoon “delta breezes” to the area during the growing season.

Lodi is a premier source of 100+ year old ancient Zinfandel vineyards—some dating back as far as 1888! With low yields of small berries, these heritage vines produce complex and bold wines, concentrated in rich and voluptuous, dark fruit.

But Lodi doesn’t just produce Zinfandel; in fact, the appellation produces high quality wines from over 100 different grape varieties. Among them are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc as well as some of California's more rare and unique grapes. Lodi is recognized as an ideal spot for growing Spanish varieties like Albarino and Tempranillo, Portugese varieties—namely Touriga Nacional—as well as many German, Italian and French varieties.

Soil types vary widely among Lodi’s seven sub-appellations (Cosumnes River, Alta Mesa, Deer Creek Hills, Borden Ranch, Jahant, Clements Hills and Mokelumne River). The eastern hills are clay-based and rocky and in the west, along the Mokelumne and Cosumnes Rivers, sandy and mineral-heavy soils support the majority of Lodi’s century-old own-rooted Zinfandel vineyards. Unique to Lodi are pink Rocklin-Jahant loam soils, mainly found in the Jahant sub-appellation.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

REG078009713_2013 Item# 145324