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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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  • Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
      4.1 14 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $20.99
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      32
      20 99
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    • Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
      Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
      • WW89
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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      35
      22 99
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    • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
      • WE92
      • WW91
      3.6 25 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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      23
      15 99
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    • The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2016 Front Labels vary Front Label
      The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      • WE90
      4.2 34 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      18
      12 99
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    • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
      Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
      • WW90
      3.6 50 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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      25
      17 99
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    • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
      Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
      • TP93
      • WS91
      3.9 150 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      20
      14 99
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    • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016  Front Label
      Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
      Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
      • TP93
      • WS91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      40
      29 99
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    • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
      Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
      • TP91
      • WE89
      3.7 25 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      20
      14 99
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    • Eberle Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Eberle Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • WS91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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      32
      23 99
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    • Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        3.8 11 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        24
        17 99
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      • Peirano Estate The Immortal Zinfandel 2015  Front Label
        Peirano Estate The Immortal Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $11.99
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          16
          11 99
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        • Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
          Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2016
          Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
            4.4 10 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $25.99
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            34
            25 99
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          • Cosentino The Zin 2017 Front Label
            Cosentino The Zin 2017
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $16.99
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              22
              16 99
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            • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
              Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2017
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              • WS91
              • WE91
              • JD90
              4.2 47 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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              26
              19 99
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            • Rosenblum Cellars Rockpile Road Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
              Rosenblum Cellars Rockpile Road Zinfandel 2013
              Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
              • WW93
              • WS90
              3.9 16 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $38.99
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              50
              38 99
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            • Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
              Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2014
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              • WE91
              4.0 35 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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              25
              19 99
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            • Michael Pozzan Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
              Michael Pozzan Zinfandel 2017
              Zinfandel from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                25
                19 99
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              • Four Virtues Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
                Four Virtues Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel 2017
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  25
                  19 99
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                • Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                  Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
                  Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • RP94
                  4.2 13 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $38.99
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                  48
                  38 99
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                • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
                  Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Zinfandel 2016
                  Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
                  • WW89
                  • WS89
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                  17
                  13 99
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                • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
                  Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2015
                  Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • JD94
                  • RP93
                  • WS92
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                  60
                  49 99
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                • Beran Napa Valley Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                  Beran Napa Valley Zinfandel 2012
                  Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                  • WW91
                  3.7 9 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                  48
                  39 99
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                • Girard Old Vine Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
                  Girard Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
                  Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                  • WS90
                  • WE90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $28.99
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                  35
                  28 99
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                • Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
                  Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
                  Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                  • WE90
                  3.9 52 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                  12
                  9 99
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                • Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
                  Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2016
                  Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                    13
                    10 99
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