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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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  • Noble Tree Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
    Noble Tree Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • Asylum Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
      Asylum Zinfandel 2014
      Zinfandel from California
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      • Hendry HRW Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
        Hendry HRW Zinfandel 2014
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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        • Trentadue Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
          Trentadue Zinfandel 2014
          Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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          • Donati Family Vineyards Sisters Forever Rouge 2014 Front Label
            Donati Family Vineyards Sisters Forever Rouge 2014
            Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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            • Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
              Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2014
              Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                3.5 12 Ratings
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              • Covenant Mensch Zinfandel (OU Kosher) 2014 Front Label
                Covenant Mensch Zinfandel (OU Kosher) 2014
                Zinfandel from California
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                • Leese-Fitch Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                  Leese-Fitch Zinfandel 2014
                  Zinfandel from California
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                  • Cline Lodi Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                    Cline Lodi Zinfandel 2014
                    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                      3.9 15 Ratings
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                    • Bodkin The Hill and The Vale Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                      Bodkin The Hill and The Vale Zinfandel 2014
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                      • WW91
                      3.8 8 Ratings
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                    • Tierra Divina ZaZin 2014 Front Label
                      Tierra Divina ZaZin 2014
                      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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                      • Armida Poizin California Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                        Armida Poizin California Zinfandel 2014
                        Zinfandel from California
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                        • GEN5 Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                          GEN5 Zinfandel 2014
                          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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                          • Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                            Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
                            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                            • WW90
                            3.8 5 Ratings
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                          • Trentadue Alexander Valley Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                            Trentadue Alexander Valley Zinfandel 2014
                            Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                            • Beran California Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                              Beran California Zinfandel 2014
                              Zinfandel from California
                              • WW89
                              4.4 14 Ratings
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                            • Armida Poizin Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2014 Front Label
                              Armida Poizin Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2014
                              Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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