I was really thrilled a few years back when we were able to wrangle into our stores a wonderful new Zinfandel called “Wild Thing,” by Carol Shelton, a winemaker some were calling Helen Turley’s heir apparent. A big, bold statement, yet one taste of the Wild Thing Zinfandel, and you too would be impressed. However, the excitement was short-lived as the distributor that brought them here retreated back to the east coast due to unforeseeable reasons.
Fast forward a couple of years and the Carol Shelton wines are back courtesy of the big boys in beverage wholesale, Southern Wine & Spirits, who probably don’t even know what kind of gem they truly represent here in Kentucky.
For those of you who don’t know who Carol Shelton is, Ms. Shelton, along with her husband/partner Mitch MacKenzie, established the Shelton-MacKenzie Wine Company, after years spent as UC Davis protégé to Professor Ann Noble (creator of the wine aroma wheel), and apprenticing at Robert Mondavi, Saltrams Winery (in Australia), Buena Vista, and finally as winemaker at Windsor Vineyards for 19 years.
Her passion for Zin is apparent in the three Zins we currently stock, the Russian River Valley Karma Zin 2005, the Mendocino County Wild Thing 2005, and the Cucamonga Valley Monga 2005. All three are from old vine Zin vineyards, and both the Monga and Wild Thing are predominately organic (Wild Thing is certified organically grown).
We have a small amount of the 2005s, and the 2006s are on the way. I feel like this is the beginning of something very cool, like when I first heard Nirvana’s “Bleach” album. These are amazing, small-production Zins not to be missed. To learn more about her and her wines, visit http://www.carolshelton.com/.