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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'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 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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  • Rombauer California Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Rombauer California Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from California
    • JD91
    4.5 139 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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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
    3.9 121 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    25
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  • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
    • TP91
    3.8 376 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    22
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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
    3.8 179 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    20
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  • The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW93
    4.5 26 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    34 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    • WE90
    • WS90
    4.1 809 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
    • V95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW88
    4.0 136 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    12 99
    12 99
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  • Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2015  Front Label
    Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW89
    3.8 25 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 99
    22 99
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  • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
      3.8 25 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      23
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    • Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      • WE90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $38.99
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      38 99
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    • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
      Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • WS91
      • WW91
      • WE90
      3.9 208 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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      24 99
      24 99
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    • Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2018 Front Label
      Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      • WW90
      3.2 27 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      14 99
      14 99
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    • Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
      Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      • V95
      • WE94
      • WW91
      4.4 23 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      49 99
      49 99
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    • Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from North Coast, California
        4.0 8 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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        13 99
        13 99
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      • Martinelli Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
        Martinelli Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel 2018
        Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $35.99
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        • Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
          Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2018
          Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
          • WW89
          4.4 42 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $24.99
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          35
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        • Day El Diablo Vineyard Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
          Day El Diablo Vineyard Zinfandel 2015
          Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • V93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $56.99
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          56 99
          56 99
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        • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
          Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2017
          Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
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          • Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
            Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2018
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
              4.1 8 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $22.99
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              22 99
              22 99
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            • Ghost Block Pelissa Vineyard Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
              Ghost Block Pelissa Vineyard Zinfandel 2018
              Zinfandel from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $38.99
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                38 99
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              • Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
                Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2017
                Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
                  4.1 9 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                  17 99
                  17 99
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                • Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
                  Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2018
                  Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                  • W&S92
                  3.9 42 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $35.99
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                  35 99
                  35 99
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                • Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
                  Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2018
                  Zinfandel from California
                  • V91
                  • WS90
                  • WE90
                  3.9 56 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                  29 99
                  29 99
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                • The Federalist Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                  The Federalist Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019
                  Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                    24 99
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