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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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  • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
    • TP91
    3.8 202 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    22
    15 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    • WE90
    • WS90
    4.1 544 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    26
    21 99
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  • Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
    • WS92
    • RP91
    3.6 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    38 99
    38 99
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  • The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
    The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • W&S90
    3.8 45 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    23
    16 99
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  • Williams Selyem Fanucchi-Wood Road Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Fanucchi-Wood Road Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE95
    • RP92
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $149.99
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    149 99
    149 99
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  • Hook and Ladder Estate Zinfandel  2013 Front Label
    Hook and Ladder Estate Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      29 99
      29 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
      • WW89
      4.0 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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      25
      17 99
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    • Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
      Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
        3.9 18 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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        21 99
        21 99
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      • Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
        Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2017
        Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
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          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          15 99
          15 99
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        • Joel Gott Zinfandel 2018 Front Label
          Joel Gott Zinfandel 2018
          Zinfandel from California
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            Currently Unavailable $17.99
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            17 99
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          • Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
            Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $49.99
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              49 99
              49 99
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            • Baron Herzog Old Vine Zinfandel (OU Kosher) 2018  Front Label
              Baron Herzog Old Vine Zinfandel (OU Kosher) 2018
              Zinfandel from California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                12 99
                12 99
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              • Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
                Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2017
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  19 99
                  19 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
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                    22 99
                    22 99
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                  • Williams Selyem Saitone Estate Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
                    Williams Selyem Saitone Estate Zinfandel 2017
                    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                    • RP93
                    • WW93
                    • W&S92
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $129.99
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                    129 99
                    129 99
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