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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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  • Louis Martini Monte Rosso Gnarly Vine Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Louis Martini Monte Rosso Gnarly Vine Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • TP93
    3.9 23 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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  • Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    4.1 23 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    48
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  • Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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  • Turley Hayne Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Hayne Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.97
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  • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from California
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.97
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  • Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.97
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  • Carlisle Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel  2014  Front Bottle Shot
    Carlisle Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    57 99
    57 99
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  • Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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    79 97
    79 97
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  • Turley Salvador Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Salvador Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.97
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    69 97
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  • Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel  2014 Front Label
    Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS96
    • RP95
    • WE93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.00
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  • Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.97
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    64 97
    64 97
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  • Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
    • WW91
    4.3 35 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Turley Duarte Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Duarte Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $75.97
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    75 97
    75 97
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  • Turley Vineyard 101 Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Vineyard 101 Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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  • Turley Buck Cobb Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Buck Cobb Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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  • St. Francis Reserve Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    St. Francis Reserve Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
    4.3 15 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    52
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  • Turley Heminway Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Heminway Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $85.00
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    85
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  • Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • TP93
    • WS90
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    89 97
    89 97
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  • Ottimino Rancho Bello Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Ottimino Rancho Bello Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
    3.8 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    38
    29 99
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  • Turley Bedrock Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Turley Bedrock Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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  • Ottimino Biglieri Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Ottimino Biglieri Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    39
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  • Dashe Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Dashe Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $33.98
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    38
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  • Ottimino Estate Vineyard Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Ottimino Estate Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP91
    4.1 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    38
    28 99
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