Wild Thing

2018 Carol Shelton Old Vine Wild Thing

2018 Carol Shelton’s Old Vine Wild Thing Zinfandel – Number 43

2018 Carol Shelton Old Vine Wild Thing Zinfandel

Carol Shelton Old Vine Wild Thing Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wines. My first vintage to try, 2009 back in 2013. Each vintage since has been delicious. The secret to this fantastic Zinfandel is where it is grown, the Cox Vineyard in Mendocino County near Ukiah. The Zinfandel vines are 60 years old, head-pruned, and organically farmed. The name Wild Thing comes from the wild yeast on the grapes. Winemaker Carol Shelton crushes the grapes with the wild yeast on the skins. The wild yeast adds a touch of terroir to the sixty-year-old vines, much like a starter in making sourdough bread.

This latest vintage of the Wild Thing Zin, 2018, is ranked number 43 in the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2021. The price varies from $15 to $19, depending on the store. The Safeway carries it, as does Mollie Stone’s. I purchased the last four at my Safeway at $13.64 each, the price when you mix-or-match six wines. It is also in many wine shops. Nine thousand eighty-five cases made.

Tasting Notes – 2018 Old Vine Wild Thing Zinfandel

The Wild Thing is lighter in color from most Zins, suggesting the brightness and mellow character of the wine. The aroma pops with cherry notes. The flavors on the palate are more red fruit variety—no rough edges to the wine. The wine has a lovely and lingering after taste. I suspect the 14 % of Carignane in the wine brings the delightful cherry notes and the freshness to the wine. Attention: Big Zin lovers, this Zin may not have the boldness you like in Zinfandel. Try it anyway. I like the Wild Thing with chicken dishes with a tomato sauce or light spice; my Cherry Tomato Pizza is a perfect match for this wine.

Additional Information

Because the Old Vine Wild Thing is on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list and the price is low, it will be in high demand. It is hard to determine how WS selects their top 100 wines, but this is quite an honor for winemaker Carol Shelton. Carol also makes many other terrific wines: Carol Shelton Wines

The Old Vine Zinfandel has a screw top. This translates into drinking wine within a couple of years. If you have trouble opening a screw top on a bottle of wine, here is a helpful resource.

Sister Carol singing “Wild Thing”

Whenever I hear this song, I think of the Carol Shelton Wild Thing Zinfandel. It’s nothing to do with wine, but there is a reference to wine. I thing it is wild. This version is from the movie, “Something Wild” in 1986.

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