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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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  • Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP95
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  • Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
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  • Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
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  • Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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    • Sbragia Gino's Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Sbragia Gino's Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • RP90
      • TP90
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    • Jeff Cohn Cellars Botticelli Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Jeff Cohn Cellars Botticelli Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
      • RP93
      • CG91
      3.8 8 Ratings
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    • Denner Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Denner Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • RP92
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    • Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
      • RP95
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    • Jeff Cohn Cellars Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Jeff Cohn Cellars Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      • CG94
      • WS90
      4.2 5 Ratings
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    • Lagier Meredith Tribidrag Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Lagier Meredith Tribidrag Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
      • WS90
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    • Benovia Sonoma County Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Benovia Sonoma County Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WS90
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    • Joseph Jewell Grist Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Joseph Jewell Grist Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • W&S96
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    • Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WE94
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    • Chester's Anvil Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Chester's Anvil Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California
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      • Miraflores El Dorado Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
        Miraflores El Dorado Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
        • WS93
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      • Robert Craig Cellars Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
        Robert Craig Cellars Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
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        • Sandler Wine Co. Buck Hill Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          Sandler Wine Co. Buck Hill Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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          • Carol Shelton Karma Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Carol Shelton Karma Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            • WW92
            • RP90
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          • Dashe Florence Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Dashe Florence Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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            • Tonti Family Wines Russian River Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Tonti Family Wines Russian River Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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              • Williams Selyem Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                Williams Selyem Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
                Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                • WS94
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              • Easton Fiddletown Rinaldi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012  Front Label
                Easton Fiddletown Rinaldi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
                Zinfandel from Fiddletown, Sierra Foothills, California
                • WE93
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              • Edmeades Shamrock Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                Edmeades Shamrock Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
                Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
                • WE90
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              • Andis Estate Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                Andis Estate Zinfandel 2012
                Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
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                • Keenan Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                  Keenan Zinfandel 2012
                  Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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