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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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    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
    4.3 23 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
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    Rombauer California Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW90
    4.8 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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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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    24
    19 99
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  • Flat front label of wine
    The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from California
      4.3 39 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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      27 99
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      OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        4.6 18 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        12 99
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      • Flat front label of wine
        Bear Flag Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • TP93
        • WS92
        • WW92
        • WE91
        3.8 24 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $24.99
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        30
        24 99
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        Opolo Mountain Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
        • WE92
        4.1 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $26.99
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        29
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        Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2014
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        • WW89
        4.8 5 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        23
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        Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
        • WS91
        4.3 3 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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        Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • TP95
        • WE90
        4.1 21 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $27.99
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        39
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        High Valley Vineyards Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from High Valley, Lake County, North Coast, California
        • WW90
        3.7 3 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        32
        16 99
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      • Flat front label of wine
        Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        • WW88
        4.5 4 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $9.99
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        15
        9 99
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        Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • V94
        • JD93
        • WS93
        4.0 7 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $39.99
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        Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • W&S93
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
          3.9 6 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        • Flat front label of wine
          Limerick Lane Russian River Zinfandel 2015
          Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • WS91
          4.5 3 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          39 99
          39 99
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          Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2014
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • RP92
          • WW91
          4.5 5 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
            5.0 1 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          • Flat front label of wine
            Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2013
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            • WE90
            3.8 19 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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            Rombauer California Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2016
            Zinfandel from California
            • WW90
            5.0 1 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $18.99
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            18 99
            18 99
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            Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from California
            • WS91
            4.4 5 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $26.99
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            26 99
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            Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2013
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
            • WE93
            • WW92
            5.0 1 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $35.99
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            35 99
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            Gehricke Zinfandel 2015
            Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • WS91
            4.7 5 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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            30
            24 99
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            Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            • WS90
            4.2 2 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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            24
            19 99
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          • Flat front label of wine
            Chateau Montelena Estate Zinfandel 2014
            Zinfandel from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
            • W&S90
            4.3 3 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $38.99
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            38 99
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