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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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  • Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from California
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    • Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
      Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2009
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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    • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
      Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2009
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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    • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
      Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2009
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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    • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
      Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2009
      Zinfandel from California
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      • Cline Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
        Cline Zinfandel 2009
        Zinfandel from California
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        • Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
          Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2009
          Zinfandel from North Coast, California
          • WS89
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        • Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
          Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2009
          Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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          • Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
            Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2009
            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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            • Cline Bridgehead Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
              Cline Bridgehead Zinfandel 2009
              Zinfandel from California
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              • Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2009
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                • Cline Big Break Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                  Cline Big Break Zinfandel 2009
                  Zinfandel from California
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                  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2009
                    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                    • Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                      Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2009
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                      • XYZin 50 2009 Front Label
                        XYZin 50 2009
                        Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                        • Bonterra Organically Grown Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                          Bonterra Organically Grown Zinfandel 2009
                          Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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                          • XYZin 10 2009 Front Label
                            XYZin 10 2009
                            Zinfandel from California
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