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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 Old Vines Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from California
    • RP91
    • WS91
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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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  • Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from California
    • WS91
    • RP90
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  • Turley Heminway Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Heminway Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
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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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  • Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
    • WE90
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  • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
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  • Turley Estate Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Estate Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
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    Currently Unavailable $85.00
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  • Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WS91
    • RP90
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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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    Currently Unavailable $85.00
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  • Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • RP91
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  • Turley Zampatti Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Zampatti Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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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 Ueberroth Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • RP95
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      Currently Unavailable $99.97
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    • Turley Hayne Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Turley Hayne Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
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      Currently Unavailable $129.00
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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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      Currently Unavailable $94.99
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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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      Currently Unavailable $99.00
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    • Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
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      Currently Unavailable $49.97
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    • Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      • W&S94
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      Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    • Turley Bedrock Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Turley Bedrock Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • RP94
      • WS92
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      Currently Unavailable $68.99
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    • Turley Sadie Upton Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Turley Sadie Upton Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
      • RP92
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    • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      • W&S94
      • WS90
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      Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    • Turley Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Turley Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      • RP91
      • WS90
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      Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    • A. Rafanelli Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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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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        Currently Unavailable $95.00
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