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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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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    • JD90
    3.9 40 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.97
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    26
    19 97
    Save $6.03 (23%)
  • Rombauer California Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Rombauer California Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from California
    • JD91
    4.5 195 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 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
      4.1 32 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      25
      16 99
      Save $8.01 (32%)
    • OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      • TP90
      4.1 25 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      15
      12 99
      Save $2.01 (13%)
    • Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • JD94
      • WE93
      • RP91
      4.1 13 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $37.99
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      40
      37 99
      Save $2.01 (5%)
    • Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • JD95
      • JS94
      • WW92
      • CG90
      4.2 32 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      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
      4.5 5 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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      28
      21 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
      • JD92
      4.2 24 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $36.99
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      36 99
      36 99
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    • Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        3.9 29 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $24.99
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        24 99
        24 99
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      • Rombauer California Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
        Rombauer California Zinfandel 2019
        Zinfandel from California
        • WW90
        4.0 6 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $39.99
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        39 99
        39 99
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      • Michael David Winery Earthquake Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
        Michael David Winery Earthquake Zinfandel 2018
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        • WE91
        4.1 17 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $26.99
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        26 99
        26 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
        3.8 244 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        20
        16 99
        Save $3.01 (15%)
      • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
        Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019
        Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
        • WW90
        • WE90
        3.9 181 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        25
        17 99
        Save $7.01 (28%)
      • Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
        Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • RP94
        • JS91
        • WS91
        4.3 38 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $45.99
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        48
        45 99
        Save $2.01 (4%)
      • St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
        St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2018
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • WS91
        • WW90
        3.8 48 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $26.99
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        26 99
        26 99
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      • Terra d'Oro Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
        Terra d'Oro Zinfandel 2018
        Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
        • WE91
        3.8 8 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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        18
        15 99
        Save $2.01 (11%)
      • 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 25 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        26
        18 99
        Save $7.01 (27%)
      • Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
        Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
        Zinfandel from California
        • JD92
        3.8 35 Ratings
        Price per bottle
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        29 99
        29 99
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      • Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
        Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2020
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          18 99
          18 99
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        • Michael Pozzan Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
          Michael Pozzan Zinfandel 2018
          Zinfandel from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
            3.7 21 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $22.99
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            22 99
            22 99
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          • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
            Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2019
            Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
              3.9 45 Ratings
              Price per bottle
              Currently Unavailable $16.99
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              23
              16 99
              Save $6.01 (26%)
            • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
              Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2016
              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
              • W&S94
              4.5 16 Ratings
              Price per bottle
              Currently Unavailable $43.99
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              43 99
              43 99
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            • Boneshaker Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
              Boneshaker Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
              Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                4.4 10 Ratings
                Price per bottle
                Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                18 99
                18 99
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              • Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2019
                Zinfandel from North Coast, California
                  4.1 30 Ratings
                  Price per bottle
                  Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                  13 99
                  13 99
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                • McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                  McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2019
                  Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                  • WW89
                  3.6 16 Ratings
                  Price per bottle
                  Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                  12 99
                  12 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
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