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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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  • Rancho Zabaco Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Rancho Zabaco Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP91
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  • Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP88
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  • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
    • WS90
    • RP90
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2008 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP89
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  • Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
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  • Hartford Russian River Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Hartford Russian River Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP91
    • WS91
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP89
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  • Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from California
    • RP94
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  • Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
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  • Turley Hayne Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Turley Hayne Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
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  • Williams Selyem Feeney Vineyard Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Feeney Vineyard Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
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  • Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
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  • Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
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  • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
    • WE92
    • RP90
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  • Marietta Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Marietta Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
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  • Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
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  • Turley Salvador Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Turley Salvador Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • RP92
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  • Turley Tofanelli Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Turley Tofanelli Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • RP91
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  • Ridge York Creek Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Ridge York Creek Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP90
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  • Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
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    129 97
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  • Robert Biale Vineyards Collins Vineyard Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Robert Biale Vineyards Collins Vineyard Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
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  • Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • RP96
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  • Turley Dusi Zinfandel (torn label) 2008 Front Label
    Turley Dusi Zinfandel (torn label) 2008
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • RP92
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  • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from California
    • RP89
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  • Robert Biale Vineyards Varozza Vineyard Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Robert Biale Vineyards Varozza Vineyard Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
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