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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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  • Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG91
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    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    22 99
    19 99
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  • Ridge York Creek Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Ridge York Creek Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    • CG90
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    25 99
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  • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG95
    3.5 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.29
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    26 99
    24 28
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  • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S95
    • CG95
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    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • CG91
    • RP90
    • W&S90
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    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    24 99
    24 99
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  • Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2005 Front Label
    Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2005
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • CG91
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.79
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    13 79
    13 79
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  • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG89
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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    37 99
    37 99
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  • Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old and Mature Vines Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old and Mature Vines Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
    28 99
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  • Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG93
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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    37 99
    37 99
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  • Kenwood Sonoma Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Kenwood Sonoma Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    23 99
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  • Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG96
    3.2 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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    31 99
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