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Zinfandel

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.

Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later 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.

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 quakity 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.

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 Ceasar 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.

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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
    Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
    • WS91
    3.9 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    26
    20 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • WE91
    • JD90
    4.2 57 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    26
    19 99
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  • The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
    The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW92
    4.2 86 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    32
    29 99
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  • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
    Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
    • TP91
    3.8 29 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    20
    14 99
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  • Chateau Montelena Estate Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Chateau Montelena Estate Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $38.99
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      38 99
      38 99
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    • Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
      Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        4.4 16 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $49.99
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        49 99
        49 99
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      • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
        Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2017
        Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
        • WE92
        • WW91
        3.5 31 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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        23
        15 99
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      • Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
        Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • WS94
        • RP93
        • JD93
        • WE93
        4.3 25 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $42.99
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        42 99
        42 99
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      • Michael David Winery Earthquake Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
        Michael David Winery Earthquake Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
          4.4 17 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $24.99
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          24 99
          24 99
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        • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
          Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2016
          Zinfandel from California
          • WS88
          3.8 59 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $11.99
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          11 99
          11 99
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        • Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old and Mature Vines Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
          Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old and Mature Vines Zinfandel 2013
          Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
          • V93
          • RP93
          • WS90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $41.99
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          41 99
          41 99
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        • Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
          Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2016
          Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
          • V94
          • RP93
          • JS93
          • JD93
          • WS91
          3.8 15 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $42.99
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          42 99
          42 99
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        • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
          Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2016
          Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
          • TP93
          • WS91
          3.9 154 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $14.99
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          20
          14 99
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        • Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
          Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2014
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • WE91
          4.0 35 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          25
          19 99
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        • Rosenblum Cellars Samsel Vineyard Maggies Reserve Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          Rosenblum Cellars Samsel Vineyard Maggies Reserve Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $43.99
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            43 99
            43 99
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          • Zin-Phomaniac Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
            Zin-Phomaniac Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
            • TP89
            4.1 9 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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            18
            16 99
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          • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016  Front Label
            Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
            Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
            • TP93
            • WS91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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            40
            29 99
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          • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
            Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
            • WW90
            3.6 51 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $17.99
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            25
            17 99
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          • Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
            Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $12.99
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              12 99
              12 99
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            • Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
              Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2016
              Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
              • WS94
              • JD94
              4.7 9 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $42.99
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              50
              42 99
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            • Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
              Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2016
              Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                23 99
                23 99
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              • Marietta Roman Estate Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
                Marietta Roman Estate Zinfandel 2016
                Zinfandel from North Coast, California
                • V90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                23 99
                23 99
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              • Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
                Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                • WE90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                20
                18 99
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              • Renwood Winery Premier Old Vine Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
                Renwood Winery Premier Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
                Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
                • WE92
                3.6 10 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                20
                18 99
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              • Plungerhead Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
                Plungerhead Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                  3.9 15 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                  13 99
                  13 99
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