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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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    Chateau Montelena Estate Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
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      Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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      Ironstone Reserve Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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        Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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          Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2017
          Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
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          Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2016
          Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
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          4.7 6 Ratings
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          Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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            Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2017
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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              Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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              Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2016
              Zinfandel from California
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              3.8 52 Ratings
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              Beran Sonoma County Zinfandel 2014
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                Plungerhead Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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                  Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2017
                  Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
                  • TP91
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                  3.8 23 Ratings
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                  Eberle Zinfandel 2017
                  Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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                  Cosentino The Zin 2017
                  Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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                    Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2016
                    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                    Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2016
                    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                    Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2016
                    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                      Valravn Sonoma Zinfandel 2017
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                        Decoy Zinfandel 2016
                        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                        • WW89
                        4.1 18 Ratings
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                        Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2016
                        Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                          DeLoach Heritage Reserve Zinfandel 2017
                          Zinfandel from California
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                            Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
                            Zinfandel from California
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                            The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2017
                            Zinfandel from California
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                            4.2 66 Ratings
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                            Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2015
                            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                            4.3 24 Ratings
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