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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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    Rombauer California Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW90
    4.9 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    34 99
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    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
    4.3 43 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    26
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    The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from California
    • WE90
    4.4 41 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    32
    28 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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    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • TP95
    • WE90
    4.1 23 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
    • WS91
    4.3 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • JD94
    • V94
    • WS93
    4.0 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    Opolo Mountain Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    4.1 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    Four Vines Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
      3.3 5 Ratings
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      OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        4.6 20 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        High Valley Vineyards Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from High Valley, Lake County, North Coast, California
        • WW90
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        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        Rombauer California Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2016
        Zinfandel from California
        • WW90
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        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        • WS90
        3.7 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • WS90
        • WE90
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        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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          Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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            Gregory Graham Crimson Hill Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
            Zinfandel from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
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              Four Vines The Sophisticate Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              • WE90
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              Currently Unavailable $22.99
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              Ravenswood Sonoma Zinfandel 2014
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              • WE90
              4.2 5 Ratings
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              Haraszthy Family Cellars Bearitage Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
              Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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                Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2016
                Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                • RP93
                • WS92
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                Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                Green & Red Tip Top Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                • W&S94
                3.7 10 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $28.99
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                Big Smooth Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                • WE90
                4.5 6 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                Gehricke Zinfandel 2015
                Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                • WS91
                4.7 6 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                • WW88
                4.0 6 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $9.99
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