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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 2015
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW90
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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  • Four Vines Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WE91
    • WW90
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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
    • WW90
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Green & Red Chiles Mill Vineyards Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S92
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Joseph Jewell Grist Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S95
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Louis Martini Monte Rosso Gnarly Vine Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • TP93
    • V92
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from California
      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    • Limerick Lane Russian River Zinfandel 2014
      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • RP94
      • WS92
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      42
      39 99
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    • Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
      Zinfandel from California
      • WS93
      • RP90
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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      24 99
      24 99
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    • Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • WE91
      • WS90
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • W&S94
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    • Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2013
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        Currently Unavailable $20.99
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      • San Lorenzo Rock Garden Zinfandel 2014
        Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • WS94
        • WW92
        Currently Unavailable $45.99
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      • Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel 2014
        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • W&S94
        • WW92
        • WE92
        • WS90
        Currently Unavailable $33.99
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        33 99
        33 99
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      • Gehricke Zinfandel 2014
        Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • TP94
        • WE90
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        30
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      • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2013
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • W&S94
        • WW90
        Currently Unavailable $38.99
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        38 99
        38 99
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      • Carnivor Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from California
          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        • Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2013
          Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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          • Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2014
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            • WE91
            Currently Unavailable $20.99
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          • Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
              Currently Unavailable $21.99
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              27
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            • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2015
              Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
                Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                20
                12 99
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              • Haraszthy Family Cellars Bearitage Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                  Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                  10 99
                  10 99
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                • Opolo Summit Creek Zinfandel 2015
                  Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                    17 99
                    17 99
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