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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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  • Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S92
    2.9 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    26 99
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  • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.00
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    54
    54
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  • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2010 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2010
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $108.00
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    108
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  • Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    • Tierra Divina ZaZin 2010 Front Label
      Tierra Divina ZaZin 2010
      Zinfandel from California
      • WE92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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      18 99
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    • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
      Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2010
      Zinfandel from California
      • WS87
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    • Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
      Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 2010
      Zinfandel from California
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        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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        21 99
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      • Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
        Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2010
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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        • Bonterra Organically Grown Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
          Bonterra Organically Grown Zinfandel 2010
          Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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            Currently Unavailable $13.59
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            13 59
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          • Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
            Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2010
            Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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              Currently Unavailable $11.29
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            • Cline Bridgehead Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
              Cline Bridgehead Zinfandel 2010
              Zinfandel from California
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                Currently Unavailable $25.99
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              • Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
                Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2010
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                • Cline Big Break Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
                  Cline Big Break Zinfandel 2010
                  Zinfandel from California
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                    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                  • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
                    Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2010
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    • W&S93
                    • WS92
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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                    42 99
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                  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
                    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2010
                    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                    • W&S91
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                    49 99
                    49 99
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                  • LangeTwins Lewis Vineyard Centennial Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
                    LangeTwins Lewis Vineyard Centennial Zinfandel 2010
                    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $57.99
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                    • Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
                      Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2010
                      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                      • W&S91
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                      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                    • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
                      Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2010
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • WE93
                      • WS90
                      4.0 40 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      19 99
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                    • XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
                      XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel 2010
                      Zinfandel from California
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                        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                        16
                        12 99
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                      • XYZin 50 2010 Front Label
                        XYZin 50 2010
                        Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                          35
                          19 99
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