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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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    • Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel (1.5 L) 1998 Front Label
      Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel (1.5 L) 1998
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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      • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014 Front Label
        Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • W&S94
        • WW91
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      • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2007 Front Label
        Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2007
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • W&S91
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      • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2011 Front Label
        Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2011
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • W&S91
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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
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      • Boho Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel (3 Liter Octavin Home Wine Bar) 2008 Front Label
        Boho Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel (3 Liter Octavin Home Wine Bar) 2008
        Zinfandel from California
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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
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        • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016  Front Label
          Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
          Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
          • TP93
          • WS91
          4.0 32 Ratings
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        • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012 Front Label
          Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • WS93
          • RP92
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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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        • CK Mondavi Zinfandel (1.5 L) 1998
          Zinfandel from California
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          • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008 Front Label
            Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
            Zinfandel from California
              3.9 8 Ratings
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            • Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel (1.5L) 1997 Front Label
              Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel (1.5L) 1997
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $99.99
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              • Fetzer Valley Oaks Zinfandel (1.5 L) 1996 Front Label
                Fetzer Valley Oaks Zinfandel (1.5 L) 1996
                Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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                • The Federalist Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014  Front Label
                  The Federalist Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
                  Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
                  • WE89
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                • Rombauer California Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015  Front Label
                  Rombauer California Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
                  Zinfandel from California
                  • WW90
                  4.5 5 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $64.97
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                • Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014 Front Label
                  Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
                  Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • WE90
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                  Currently Unavailable $39.97
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                • DeLoach Estate Bottled Zinfandel (1.5L) 1998
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                  • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011 Front Label
                    Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    • WS92
                    • D92
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                  • Fetzer Home Ranch Zinfandel (1.5 L) 1997
                    Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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                    • Jeff Cohn Cellars Alegria Vineyard Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1997 Front Label
                      Jeff Cohn Cellars Alegria Vineyard Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1997
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • WS89
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                    • Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2002  Front Label
                      Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2002
                      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      • RP94
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                    • Rombauer California Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2017 Front Label
                      Rombauer California Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2017
                      Zinfandel from California
                      • WW90
                      • TP90
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                    • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2018  Front Label
                      Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2018
                      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                      • W&S92
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                      Currently Unavailable $71.99
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