2012 Shelter Zinfandel
2012 Shelter Zinfandel This 2012 wine shows rich ripe fruit characters with slightly more complexity and structure. The United States wine is bright, vibrant purple with a deep black core. Aromas of black cherry, sweet pipe tobacco and dark chocolate are enhanced by hints of black pepper spice and cedar. These flavors are carried through on the palate with richness and weight. This wine has great persistence and a slight dustiness on the finish from the fine-grained tannins.
Once thought to be native to California, the dark blue zinfandel grape can be used to make bold red wine or “white zin,” a pink, affordable wine. While made from the same grapes, the two wines are distinctively different in flavor, body, sweetness, alcohol content, and price. Red zin has lots of jammy, fruity flavor and is high in alcohol while white zin has a light, sweet flavor and low alcohol. The grape is also known as Crljenak Kastelanski in its native Croatia and as primitivo in southern Italy.
Red zinfandel is known for its rich, dark purple color scheme, medium to high tannin levels, high alcohol content, and medium acidity. While the red wine tends to be medium-bodied and medium dry, it is bursting with flavors and aromas of jam, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, plums, cinnamon, black pepper, and licorice all wrapped around various intensities of oak.
White zinfandel is made from the same grape, but the skins are promptly removed after crushing. This creates a lighter-hued, lighter-bodied wine with lighter tannins and low alcohol. White zins tend to be lightly sweet with flavors of strawberry, cherry, and citrus. It lacks the bitterness of traditional red wine but also the complexity, making it a favorite among novice wine drinkers. Plus, it’s often sold for less than $10 a bottle.
Zinfandel is one of the most popular wine grapes grown in California and is especially popular in northern California and the central coast. The vines like warm, sunny days but dislike intense heat, and the thin skinned-fruit is susceptible to rot. Good draining is key, making them good for planting on slopes. Zinfandel is typically grown in the summer and harvested as early as mid-August or well into fall, often called a “late harvest” zin.
Old vine zinfandels are red wines made from grapevines over 50 years old. These are prized for their intense color and balanced flavors and often fetch a high price. Old vines grapes are almost exclusively used to make red zinfandel.