Christmas Carolers

Hot off the heels of last night’s rationalization of *wine* vs. *brand*, here’s another one under a banner I am quite familiar with, but the bottle in question causes asterisks. Long a stalwart in heritage-vine Zin from all over California, this little blend hails from one of my FAVORITE Rhone-variety regions: Contra Costa County: the mothership of old-vine Mourvedre and Carignane. But there’s something terribly awry here. Dark, impenetrable purple-ruby in the glass with a blue-pink rim. Massive, concentrated, dense-berry, over-extracted, flabby, disgustingly rich, oak-ridden nose causes halt and surprise. Literally: someone refilled this bottle with Caymus Cab or perhaps–in offering a slight olive branch: Suisun-Durif. Fake and raunchily fruited, the prune clings hard to the eye-crossing syrupiness and alcohol. I don’t want this wine in my face. I don’t want this wine in my glass. And I don’t want this wine to say “Carol Shelton” on it.

A wine more friendly to the 99 could NOT have been more-realized. It insults every inch of you. You need an aspirin after a sip.

I must taste it. I don’t want to, but I go out so you can stay in. Sweet and un-nuanced, completely devoid of varietal nuance or winemaking inspiration, it is slightly less oppressing in the mouth than the nose, but the rich, raisin-y saccharine swill of cloying nameless berry and stupendous alcohol brings to horrifying consideration all the things you hate about wine-marketing, the American sweet tooth, and stupid people in general. A careful blend of gasoline and pancake syrup would garner higher marks. I hope they made a crap-ton of this, because I could literally sell CONTAINERS of it. There would be no keeping it in stock. Every numskull addled on Wagner, Paso Robles and Prisoner will line up around the block for this absolute shit-stain of a wine.

2018 CAROL SHELTON ‘Coquille Rouge’ MV/CG/PS/AB/GR/VG 25/25/25/15/5/5 Central Coast 14.9

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