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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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  • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2013 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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    • Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
      Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2013
      Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • RP95
      • WS94
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      Currently Unavailable $129.97
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    • Bonterra Organically Grown Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
      Bonterra Organically Grown Zinfandel 2013
      Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
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        16
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      • Michael David Winery Sloth Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
        Michael David Winery Sloth Zinfandel 2013
        Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
        • RP93
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      • Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
        Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2013
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • WE93
        • WW92
        4.1 18 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      • LangeTwins Estate Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
        LangeTwins Estate Old Vine Zinfandel 2013
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        • WW90
        3.8 35 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        14 99
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      • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
        Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2013
        Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
        • RP98
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $135.00
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      • Turley Cobb Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
        Turley Cobb Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
        Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
        • RP90
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        Currently Unavailable $69.97
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        69 97
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      • Story Winery Picnic Hill Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
        Story Winery Picnic Hill Zinfandel 2013
        Zinfandel from Shenandoah Valley, Sierra Foothills, California
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        • Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Bambino Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
          Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Bambino Zinfandel 2013
          Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $27.99
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          • Michael David Winery Rage Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
            Michael David Winery Rage Zinfandel 2013
            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • RP93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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            59
            49 99
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          • Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
            Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2013
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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              Currently Unavailable $10.99
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            • Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
              Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2013
              Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
                3.2 5 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                20
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              • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
                Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2013
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                • CG94
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $79.99
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              • Robert Craig Cellars Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
                Robert Craig Cellars Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
                Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
                • WW94
                • W&S91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $79.99
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                79 99
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              • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
                Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2013
                Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
                • WW89
                3.8 13 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                23
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              • Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
                Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2013
                Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
                • WE91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                25
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              • Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
                Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
                Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                • WE91
                • WS90
                3.8 15 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                23 99
                23 99
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              • GEN5 Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
                GEN5 Zinfandel 2013
                Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                  4.0 6 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2013 Front Label
                  Frog's Leap Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2013
                  Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  • Orleans Hill Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
                    Orleans Hill Zinfandel 2013
                    Zinfandel from California
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                      Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                    • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013 Front Label
                      Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
                      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                      • D91
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                      Currently Unavailable $48.99
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                      60
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                    • Red Truck Winery Green Truck Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
                      Red Truck Winery Green Truck Zinfandel 2013
                      Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
                      • WW90
                      3.8 10 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                      18
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                    • Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
                      Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2013
                      Zinfandel from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                      • WW90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                      27 99
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                    • Heitz Cellar Ink Grade Vineyard Zinfandel 2013  Front Label
                      Heitz Cellar Ink Grade Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
                      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                      • JS92
                      • WE91
                      • WS90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                      34 99
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