List Page Learn About Content Graphic

Zinfandel Wine

Learn about Zinfandel — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

undefined, null

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. Small quantities of Zinfandel grapes grow in countries as disparate as Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Washington and Oregon produce Zinfandel grapes as well. In Croatia, production increased dramatically in 2001 once the news hit of the connection with Zinfandel grapes and Primitivo. From an early discovery of 22 vines, there are now more than 200,000. In Puglia about 10,000 acres exist. In California, Zinfandel is the second most-planted red grape, after Cabernet Sauvignon, with more than 50,000 acres, and it has been around since the 1850’s at least.

Zinfandel History

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 quality 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. California versions often show blueberry, raspberry, boysenberry, and peach yogurt flavors. Pepper, spice and a brambly character commonly make an appearance as well.

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 Caesar 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. Old to very old Zinfandel grape vines are prized, even though they produce smaller amounts of fruit. The wines made from such gnarly old stumps are avidly sought after. Whatever you call it, Zinfandel is a wine worth exploring.

Coming Soon: Regions Map. This is not a final layout.
Gift Type
Gift Type
    Occasion
    Occasion
      Variety
      Variety
        Rating & Price
        Rating & Price
        Rating 0 100
        Price $5 $300+
        Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
        Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
        Size & Type
        Size & Type
        Collectible
        8 Items
        • Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
          Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2002
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
          • RP93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $69.97
          Try the
          69 97
          69 97
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
          Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2002
          Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
          • RP94
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $64.99
          Try the
          64 99
          64 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
          Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2002
          Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
          • RP93
          • WS92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $64.97
          Try the
          64 97
          64 97
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
          Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2002
          Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • RP95
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $89.00
          Try the 2020 Vintage 125 99
          89
          89
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
          Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2002
          Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
          • RP94
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $99.00
          Try the
          99
          99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2002  Front Label
          Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2002
          Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
          • RP93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $79.97
          Try the
          79 97
          79 97
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Turley Vineyard 101 Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
          Turley Vineyard 101 Zinfandel 2002
          Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
          • RP92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $67.99
          Try the
          67 99
          67 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2002  Front Label
          Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2002
          Zinfandel from California
          • RP91
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $79.97
          Try the
          79 97
          79 97
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        Sorry, we couldn't find any matches.

        Internet Explorer is no longer supported.
        Please use a different browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

        It's easy to make the switch.
        Enjoy better browsing and increased security.

        Yes, Update Now

        Search for ""

        Processing Your Order...