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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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    Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
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    Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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  • Marietta Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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  • Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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  • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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    • RP87
    • WS86
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    Ballentine BG Reserve Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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    Rancho Zabaco Dry Creek Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS87
    • RP87
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    Blockheadia Ringnosii Napa Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP90
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    Rosenblum Cellars Annette's Reserve Rhodes Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from California
    • RP88
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  • Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP89
    • WS88
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  • Gallo of Sonoma Barrelli Creek Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE88
    • RP87
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    Edmeades Eaglepoint Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from North Coast, California
    • RP90
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    Turley Hayne Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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    Turley Grist Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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    Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from California
    • RP93
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    Rosenblum Cellars Continente Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • RP90
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    Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
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    St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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    Titus Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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  • Trentadue Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from California
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    Rosenblum Cellars Lyons Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP91
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    Ravenswood Belloni Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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  • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
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  • Dynamite Vineyards Evangelho Old Vines Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
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