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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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    Rombauer California Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW90
    4.9 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
    4.2 45 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from California
    • WE90
    4.4 42 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • TP95
    • WE90
    4.1 23 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    Castoro Cellars Zinfusion Reserve Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • TP96
    • WW92
    2.9 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
    • WS91
    4.4 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • JD94
    • V94
    • WS93
    4.0 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    Opolo Mountain Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    4.1 10 Ratings
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    Four Vines Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
      3.4 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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      High Valley Vineyards Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from High Valley, Lake County, North Coast, California
      • WW90
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      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        4.6 20 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        • WS90
        3.7 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        Ravenswood Sonoma Zinfandel 2014
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • WE90
        4.2 5 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          Gregory Graham Crimson Hill Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
          Zinfandel from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
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            Big Smooth Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
            • WE90
            4.5 6 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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            Four Vines The Sophisticate Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            • WE90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $22.99
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            Haraszthy Family Cellars Bearitage Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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              Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2016
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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              Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2016
              Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
              • RP93
              • WS92
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              Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2013
              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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              Gehricke Zinfandel 2015
              Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
              • WS91
              4.7 6 Ratings
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              Beran California Zinfandel 2014
              Zinfandel from California
              • WW89
              4.4 8 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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              Cosentino Cigar Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
              Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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                Ottimino Rancho Bello Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
                Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                • RP90
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