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Zinfandel

Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward...

Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

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15 Items
  • Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S92
    Currently Unavailable $48.99
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    52
    48 99
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  • Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2004
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    Currently Unavailable $109.97
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  • Martinelli Vellutini Ranch Zinfandel 2011
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • RP90
    Currently Unavailable $56.98
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    56 98
    56 98
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  • Denner Zinfandel 2011
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
      Currently Unavailable $54.97
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      54 97
      54 97
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    • Denner Zinfandel 2014
      Zinfandel from Willow Creek District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
        Currently Unavailable $59.97
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      • Turley Dogtown Zinfandel 2001
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        • RP91
        Currently Unavailable $71.99
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        71 99
        71 99
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      • Denner Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
        • RP92
        Currently Unavailable $64.97
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        64 97
        64 97
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      • Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2001
        Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
        • RP92
        Currently Unavailable $79.97
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        79 97
        79 97
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      • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2002
        Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
        • RP93
        • WS92
        Currently Unavailable $64.97
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        64 97
        64 97
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      • Turley Hayne Zinfandel 2001
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • RP97
        • WS94
        Currently Unavailable $89.00
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        89
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      • Denner Zinfandel 2010
        Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
          Currently Unavailable $59.97
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          59 97
          59 97
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        • Denner Zinfandel 2013
          Zinfandel from Willow Creek District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
            Currently Unavailable $64.97
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            64 97
            64 97
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            Ships Wed, Oct 25
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          • Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2015
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
              Currently Unavailable $69.99
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              69 99
              69 99
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            • Denner Zinfandel 2009
              Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                Currently Unavailable $54.97
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                54 97
                54 97
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              • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2013
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                • CG94
                Currently Unavailable $69.99
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                69 99
                69 99
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