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Zinfandel Wine

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. Small quantities of Zinfandel grapes grow in countries as disparate as Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Washington and Oregon produce Zinfandel grapes as well. In Croatia, production increased dramatically in 2001 once the news hit of the connection with Zinfandel grapes and Primitivo. From an early discovery of 22 vines, there are now more than 200,000. In Puglia about 10,000 acres exist. In California, Zinfandel is the second most-planted red grape, after Cabernet Sauvignon, with more than 50,000 acres, and it has been around since the 1850’s at least.

Zinfandel History

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 quality 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. California versions often show blueberry, raspberry, boysenberry, and peach yogurt flavors. Pepper, spice and a brambly character commonly make an appearance as well.

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 Caesar 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. Old to very old Zinfandel grape vines are prized, even though they produce smaller amounts of fruit. The wines made from such gnarly old stumps are avidly sought after. Whatever you call it, Zinfandel is a wine worth exploring.

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  • Turley Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • RP92
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    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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  • Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • TP94
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  • Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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    79 97
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  • Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Michael David Winery Sloth Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Michael David Winery Sloth Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $61.99
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  • Jeff Cohn Cellars Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Jeff Cohn Cellars Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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  • Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Dashe Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Dashe Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    • WW91
    4.1 6 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $71.99
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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
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    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    89 97
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  • Turley Zampatti Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Zampatti Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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    79 99
    79 99
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  • Turley Cobb Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Cobb Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $69.97
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    69 97
    69 97
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  • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • WE91
    • RP90
    4.7 22 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    58
    54 99
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  • Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $99.00
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    99
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  • Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from California
    • RP94
    • WS90
    4.4 5 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $44.97
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    44 97
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  • Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
    28 99
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  • Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP89
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    15 99
    15 99
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  • Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $95.00
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  • Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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    43 99
    43 99
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  • Kinsella Estates Spencer Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Kinsella Estates Spencer Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    57 99
    57 99
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  • Bella Vineyards Big River Ranch Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Bella Vineyards Big River Ranch Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
    • CG91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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    43 99
    43 99
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  • Michael David Winery 7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Michael David Winery 7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • RP90
    3.9 26 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    16
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  • Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    4.0 32 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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  • Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • V93
    • RP93
    • WS90
    4.3 7 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    38 99
    38 99
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  • Michael David Winery 7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2013 Front Label
    Michael David Winery 7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2013
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $10.99
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    10 99
    10 99
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