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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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  • Jeff Cohn Cellars Botticelli Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Jeff Cohn Cellars Botticelli Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    • CG91
    3.8 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    42
    34 99
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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
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    41 99
    41 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG92
    • WW91
    • D91
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    15 99
    15 99
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  • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • CG91
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    35
    32 99
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  • DAOU Vineyards Reserve Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    DAOU Vineyards Reserve Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WW92
    • WE90
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    56
    44 99
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  • Carol Shelton Rocky Reserve Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Carol Shelton Rocky Reserve Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    32 99
    28 99
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  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 99
    22 99
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  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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  • Jeff Cohn Cellars Shake Ridge Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Jeff Cohn Cellars Shake Ridge Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • CG92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    42
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • CG91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    24 99
    19 99
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  • Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • CG91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.98
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  • Ravenswood Belloni Ranch Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Ravenswood Belloni Ranch Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • CG95
    • W&S94
    • WE92
    4.0 21 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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    35
    31 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG92
    • D91
    • WW91
    • WS90
    3.9 45 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
    Try the 2017 Vintage 19 99
    24
    19 99
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