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Zinfandel Wine

Learn about Zinfandel — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. In fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles. Small quantities of Zinfandel grapes grow in countries as disparate as Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Washington and Oregon produce Zinfandel grapes as well. In Croatia, production increased dramatically in 2001 once the news hit of the connection with Zinfandel grapes and Primitivo. From an early discovery of 22 vines, there are now more than 200,000. In Puglia about 10,000 acres exist. In California, Zinfandel is the second most-planted red grape, after Cabernet Sauvignon, with more than 50,000 acres, and it has been around since the 1850’s at least.

Zinfandel History

Zinfandel's story begins in Croatia in the 1400s when it went by the names, Tribidrag or Crljenak Kaštelanski. In the 1700s, it made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit. The modern spelling of Zinfandel first appeared in 1852 and became standard about a decade later.

Tasting Notes for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a dry red wine, though typically forward in fruit. Notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice are common. Very ripe examples may express a dried fruit quality like fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often shows red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics like juniper and menthol. California versions often show blueberry, raspberry, boysenberry, and peach yogurt flavors. Pepper, spice and a brambly character commonly make an appearance as well.

Perfect Food Pairings for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Caesar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

Sommelier Secrets for Zinfandel

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, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex. Old to very old Zinfandel grape vines are prized, even though they produce smaller amounts of fruit. The wines made from such gnarly old stumps are avidly sought after. Whatever you call it, Zinfandel is a wine worth exploring.

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  • Rombauer California Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Rombauer California Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from California
    • WE91
    • WW90
    4.5 73 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    34 99
    34 99
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  • The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel  Front Label
    The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel
    Zinfandel from California
      4.3 69 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $34.99
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      34 99
      34 99
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    • Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • JD94
      • WW94
      • WS93
      • CG91
      3.9 18 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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      41 99
      41 99
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    • Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
      Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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        23 99
        23 99
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      • Four Vines Biker Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
        Four Vines Biker Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019
        Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
          4.9 7 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          18 99
          18 99
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        • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
          Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2019
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • JD92
          • WE92
          • WW91
          • WS91
          4.0 153 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $21.99
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          26
          21 99
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        • The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
          The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2018
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
            4.2 20 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $18.99
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            18 99
            18 99
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          • Hendry Block 7 and 22 Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
            Hendry Block 7 and 22 Zinfandel 2018
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
            • JD90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $44.99
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            44 99
            44 99
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          • Alexander Valley Vineyards Redemption Zin 2016  Front Label
            Alexander Valley Vineyards Redemption Zin 2016
            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
              4.2 6 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $22.99
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              22 99
              22 99
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            • Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
              Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
              Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
              • TP91
              • WE90
              3.7 273 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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              19 99
              19 99
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            • Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
              Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2019
              Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
                3.4 5 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $31.99
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                31 99
                31 99
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              • Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
                Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2020
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                  4.2 25 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                  14 99
                  14 99
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                • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                  Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019
                  Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
                  • WW90
                  • WE90
                  3.8 227 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  25
                  19 99
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                • Scott Harvey Mountain Selection Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                  Scott Harvey Mountain Selection Zinfandel 2019
                  Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
                  • WE93
                  • WW90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  29
                  19 99
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                • Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                  Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019
                  Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • WW92
                  • WE91
                  3.8 11 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $38.99
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                  41
                  38 99
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                • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                  Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2019
                  Zinfandel from California
                  • WE91
                  4.2 26 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                  9 99
                  9 99
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                • Martinelli Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                  Martinelli Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel 2019
                  Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                    36 99
                    36 99
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                  • Three Wine Company Old Vines Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
                    Three Wine Company Old Vines Zinfandel 2017
                    Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
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                      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                      23 99
                      23 99
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                    • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                      Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel 2019
                      Zinfandel from California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
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                        Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                        11 99
                        11 99
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                      • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                        Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2019
                        Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
                        • TP91
                        3.9 175 Ratings
                        Regular price
                        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                        15 99
                        15 99
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                      • Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                        Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2019
                        Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                          19 99
                          19 99
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                        • Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                          Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
                          Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                          • WW92
                          • JD92
                          • WE92
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Regular price
                          Currently Unavailable $37.99
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                          37 99
                          37 99
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                        • Beran Sonoma County Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
                          Beran Sonoma County Zinfandel 2017
                          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                          • WS89
                          4.2 10 Ratings
                          Regular price
                          Currently Unavailable $20.99
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                          22
                          20 99
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                        • Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
                          Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020
                          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                            4.0 7 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                            9 99
                            9 99
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                          • Rombauer El Dorado Twin Rivers Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                            Rombauer El Dorado Twin Rivers Zinfandel 2019
                            Zinfandel from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
                            • WW90
                            4.3 18 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $52.99
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                            52 99
                            52 99
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