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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
    4.6 176 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    38 99
    38 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    26
    21 99
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  • The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW93
    4.4 50 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    34 99
    34 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
      4.4 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      25
      16 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
      3.9 158 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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      25
      17 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
      3.8 222 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      20
      16 99
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    • McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      • WW89
      3.5 15 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      12 99
      12 99
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    • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2018  Front Label
      Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2018
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • WW90
      • WE90
      • WS90
      4.1 19 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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      26
      18 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
      3.5 8 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $64.99
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      64 99
      64 99
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    • Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      • WW92
      4.9 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      49 99
      49 99
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    • Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WE93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $37.99
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      60
      37 99
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    • Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • JS94
      • WS93
      • WW92
      4.2 13 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $36.99
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      36 99
      36 99
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    • Scott Harvey Mountain Selection Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
      Scott Harvey Mountain Selection Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
      • WE93
      • WW91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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      28
      21 99
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    • Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
      Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • RP94
      • JS91
      • WS91
      4.4 20 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $42.99
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      48
      42 99
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    • Three Wine Company Live Oak Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
      Three Wine Company Live Oak Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
      • WE92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $33.99
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      38
      33 99
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    • Zinfandelic Lodi Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
      Zinfandelic Lodi Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      • WE90
      3.7 119 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      20
      16 99
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    • Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
      Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • RP93
      • JD91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $38.99
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      50
      38 99
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    • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • WE91
      • WS90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $35.99
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      40
      35 99
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    • The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
      The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        4.5 6 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        17 99
        17 99
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      • Titus Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
        Titus Zinfandel 2019
        Zinfandel from California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          39 99
          39 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
            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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            60
            49 99
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          • XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
            XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
            Zinfandel from California
            • JS91
            3.8 28 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $15.99
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            18
            15 99
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          • Four Vines Old Vine Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
            Four Vines Old Vine Zinfandel 2018
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
            • D89
            4.0 7 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
            14 99
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          • Three Wine Company Old Vines Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
            Three Wine Company Old Vines Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
            • WE90
            3.9 6 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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            26
            24 99
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          • Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
            Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2019
            Zinfandel from North Coast, California
              3.8 12 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $13.99
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              13 99
              13 99
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