Vacation trip to Lodi and Sonoma – Aug 2019 – Day 5

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1567022208503{margin-top: 300px !important;}”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”1000px”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”900px”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”700px”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Day 5 . . . This was going to prove to be a very fun and diverse wine day.  We started a bit to the south in Santa Rosa, not in a vineyard. . but in a warehouse district.  Carol Shelton Wines has more accolades than most wineries 3 times their size.  Carol herself has been working in the wine industry since 1978.  Her story can be found here.  It’s well worth the read.  I had read many glowing reviews of her Zinfandels and had determined to try them for myself.


Carol Shelton Wines

2017 Wild Thing Chardonnay – Bright nose with gorgeous soft vanilla aromas blended with stone fruit.  The flavors also followed suit.  Great texture.

2017 Viognier – Perfumed and floral with bright acidity.  flavors of stone fruit . .nectarines and melon.

2015 Coquille Blanc – Blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Rousanne and Marsanne . . . Initial aromas of sea shells . . .Excellent texture and wonderfully blended.  Flavors of pear and nectarines.  Very nicely complex.

2018 Rendezvous Rose’ – made from Carignane . . .Ripe red berries on the nose . . .Silky texture. . flavors of cranberry and raspberry . . Nice acidity. . tart with just a touch of sweet.  Amazing.

2015 Old Vine Carignane – Deep garnet color . . .robust dark fruit . . .satiny soft mid palate. . Wonderful texture. . Bold fruit flavors with a soft elegant finish.

2016 Wild Thing Zinfandel – (This is what drew me here) . . .A bit of bramble alongside the brilliant red and dark fruit co-mingled in the aromas . . .Satiny soft and delicious.  Taking a few of these home.

**WINEMAKER NOTES:  Aromas of black cherry, ripe plum and raspberry fruit combine with a hint of cigar box, and vanilla-oak baking spice loveliness. Smoothly textured in mouth, and the palate is very creamy and round, with a finish that is long with lush jammy fruit.**

2014 Monga Zin – The nose is quite mild . . .the flavors of dark fruit come through nicely alongside firm tannins and a great finish

2015 Karma Reserve– blend of 57% Zinfandel, 25% Petite Sirah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Viognier. . . .Aromas of warmth (14.9% ABV) and dark fruit, baking spices, a little chocolate . . .silky soft middle . . .excellent fruit flavors carry through and a superb lingering finish.  Taking one of these home too.

2014 Petite Sirah – Chocolate and caramel on the nose alongside plums and dark cherries. . .satiny dark fruit through the middle . . Heavy tannins, yet it finishes soft with no edge . . really remarkable.

2014 Rockpile Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – Bold dark fruit on both nose and palate . . .medium/heavy body . . . dark chocolate, vanilla at finish, smoothly structured tannins.

2017 Black Magic Late Harvest Zinfandel – Brambly nose and a slightly medicinal smell . . .Very soft structure . . .like a port-style but not fortified . . . fruit is bright, yet dark at the same time.  Very unusual.


We really enjoyed this stop.  So many great options to choose from.  Though I have found a fascination recently with Zinfandel . . so that was my go-to.  Though if you lean toward whites. . .I would strongly recommend both the Chardonnay and the Coquille Blanc..

On to one of our favorites from our previous visit.  Korbel Champagne Winery.


I’ve review Korbel California Champagne in the past, on our last rip to Sonoma.  It’s a really wonderful historical property and an interesting part of the history of California . .especially the Sonoma Valley.  I would encourage anyone to read the stories about the Korbel Family as well as the Heck Family and fall into the drama of the times. . . Here . .


We participated in the tour once again, always an entertaining time. . this time more than last.  And it is typically very educational, this time less than the last time.  Our tour guide thought he was doing stand-up . . .

Natural Champagne – Very refreshing . . .clean and crisp with hints of citrus, but nothing robust . . .slightly sweet yet tight acidity and super finish.  My fave of this day. . .Notes from the website – “KORBEL Natural’ is a very dry, delicate California champagne – a true representation of KORBEL’s fruit-forward “house” style. It is made from the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes grown in the cool climate of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. It features apple notes complemented by sweet flavors of orange, lime and raspberry.”

Blanc de Noir – A bit more viscous than the Natural. . .more texture . .Good flavor, but would have liked more. . . .Notes from the website – “Fresh and full of vivid berry flavors, KORBEL Blanc de Noirs is the perfect summer California champagne. KORBEL uses Pinot Noir cuvées with remarkable raspberry and strawberry flavors and a delicate finish.”

Sec – Refreshing prosecco style  . . .  Great texture . . .and excellent choice.  I may have to choose a second Fave!!  Notes from the website – “Slightly sweet, with delicate fruit flavors, Korbel Sec was the first champagne created by the Korbel family well over 100 years ago.”

Rouge –  Not my first choice. . or third choice . . .my only note on this one was MEH!. . . .Notes from the website – “A true sparkling red wine, KORBEL Rouge is a medium-dry California champagne made from Russian River Valley Pinot Noir grapes. It has a distinctive color, with intense aromas and flavors of black cherry, strawberry and plum. The rich berries blend nicely with bright tannins and earthy herbal characters.”

Sweet Cuvee – This is exactly what you think it will be. . .though not overly so . . .Very refreshing and nice tropical fruit notes.  Slightly sweet on the finish.  My wife’s favorite . . . Notes from the website – “KORBEL Sweet Cuvée has a tantalizing, fruit-forward style with bright citrus and tropical fruit character.”


Before my first visit to Korbel I would very adamantly state that I didn’t like champagne.  Mostly because I had only ever had the nasty stuff, like Cold Duck and Cooks, both of which are better used for cleaning car parts.  If you’ve considered giving a nice sparkling wine another go, especially one that can truly use the term CHAMPAGNE. . get yourself some Korbel Champagne at your local grocery.  It just may surprise you.


Our last tasting for the day was our opportunity to visit with our one wine club we joined during our last visit, Colagrossi Wines in Windsor.  Craig Colagrossi is one of those people who makes wine on the side while working a regular 9-5.  Interestingly enough, his primary job is selling barrels to other wineries, brewers, distillers. . .whoever needs wooden vessels for storage liquid refreshment.  His is a very interesting perspective on the industry and he is just fun to be around.

And because we are such special people, we got the full treatment . . . charcuterie, cheese and bread all ready to pair with his luscious wines.  And not only that, at the end of our scheduled tastings, he rewarded our patience with many barrel tastings of his “almost ready” wines.  So much great stuff. . .let’s do this!!

2018 Vermentino – A bright cheery nose of citrus and nectarine . . .tight acidity but mild flavors.

2018 Rose’ of Sangiovese –  Aromas of strawberry and rose petals . . .slightly tart, cheerful fruit on the palate and very refreshing crispness.

2016 Merlot – Dry Creek Valley fruit – satiny mid palate . . .great chewy texture . . .great fruit on the finish.

2017 Sangiovese – A blanket of dark fruit on the nose . . .super smooth texture but chewy tannins . . .gorgeous fruit finishes it off.  Wow.

2015 Vino Rosso – My personal favorite – A full array of dark and red fruits fill the nostrils . .exquisite mouthfeel . .. quite chewy, great structure . .and is still showing a little bottle shock as it was only “put to bed” a couple weeks before.  Wonderful!

And now for the Not Quite Ready for Prime Time Players . . From the barrel . .

2018 Barbera – Pauli Vineyard – Brilliant red fruit, very robust . . .Silky mid texture already . . .great fruit . .This lady is ready for the dance NOW!!

2018 Barbera – Moon Mountain Vineyards – Hungarian Oak puncheon – Some toast on the nose and more dark fruit . . .silky and chewy tannins . .  Not quite as ready as the first one, but delicious just the same.

2018 Barbera – Moon Mountain Vineyards – French Oak Puncheon – Similar toast characteristics as well as dark fruit, but this one is a bit more acidic.  The only real difference is the vessel.

2018 Montepulciano – This was a sneak preview of a customer’s wine.  Not being bottled by Craig.  Bright red fruit aromas as well as flavors, luscious texture. . .very satiny and delicious with a bright acidity.  Really going to be something!!

We truly loved our opportunity to visit one-on-one with an extraordinary winemaker that we feel privileged to call a friend also.  Thanks Craig for always making us feel like family and for giving us the chance to touch your life as well.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][dt_fancy_title title=”Photo Gallery” title_align=”left” title_size=”h3″ title_color=”accent”][vc_media_grid element_width=”2″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1568927955173-4b126b1e-2bea-8″ include=”15738,15737,15736,15722,15719,15720,15721,15679,15680,15687,15690″ css=”.vc_custom_1568928161748{margin-top: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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