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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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  • Martinelli Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Martinelli Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      4.2 14 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $37.99
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      37 99
      37 99
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    • Scott Harvey InZINerator Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
      Scott Harvey InZINerator Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
      • WE91
      • WW90
      3.5 22 Ratings
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      23
      19 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
      Price per bottle
      Currently Unavailable $129.99
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      129 99
      129 99
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    • Hendry HRW Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Hendry HRW Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 99
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      • Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
        Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2019
        Zinfandel from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $29.99
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          29 99
          29 99
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        • Scott Harvey Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
          Scott Harvey Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel 2018
          Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
          • WW91
          • WE90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $46.99
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          46 99
          46 99
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        • Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
          Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2013
          Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
          • W&S92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $79.99
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          79 99
          79 99
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        • Camp Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
          Camp Zinfandel 2020
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
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            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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            24 99
            24 99
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          • Radio-Coteau Lemorel Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
            Radio-Coteau Lemorel Zinfandel 2018
            Zinfandel from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            • V94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $79.99
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            79 99
            79 99
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          • Camp Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
            Camp Zinfandel 2019
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
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              Currently Unavailable $22.99
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              22 99
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            • Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel 2015  Front Label
              Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel 2015
              Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
              • WS90
              3.9 5 Ratings
              Price per bottle
              Currently Unavailable $39.99
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              39 99
              39 99
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            • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
              Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2018
              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
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                Currently Unavailable $72.99
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                72 99
                72 99
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              • Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
                Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2017
                Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                • WE93
                • RP91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Price per bottle
                Currently Unavailable $139.99
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                139 99
                139 99
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              • Scott Harvey Vineyard 1869 Old Vine Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
                Scott Harvey Vineyard 1869 Old Vine Zinfandel 2018
                Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
                • WE90
                • WW90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Price per bottle
                Currently Unavailable $51.99
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                68
                51 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
                Price per bottle
                Currently Unavailable $139.99
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                139 99
                139 99
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              • Williams Selyem Fanucchi-Wood Road Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
                Williams Selyem Fanucchi-Wood Road Zinfandel 2018
                Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Price per bottle
                  Currently Unavailable $139.99
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                  139 99
                  139 99
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