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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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  • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Templeton Gap District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • V94
    • RP93
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  • Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • V94
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  • Turley Steacy Ranch Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Turley Steacy Ranch Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • V95
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  • Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • V94
    • RP92
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  • Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
    Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • V94
    • RP94
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  • Carlisle Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Carlisle Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • V97
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Radio-Coteau Lemorel Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
    Radio-Coteau Lemorel Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • V94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Turley Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Turley Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW95
    • V94
    • RP90
    4.2 7 Ratings
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  • Monte Rio Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Monte Rio Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • V92
    3.0 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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  • Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • V95
    • WE94
    • WW91
    4.4 24 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • V95
    • RP93
    4.7 19 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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  • Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
    • V93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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  • Carlisle Piner-Olivet Ranches Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
    Carlisle Piner-Olivet Ranches Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • V94
    • JD93
    • WS92
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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  • Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2018  Front Label
    Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2018
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • V95
    • WW91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
    Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2018
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • V94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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