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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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  • Bradford Mountain Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
    Bradford Mountain Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S93
    3.9 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    28
    16 99
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  • Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2006  Front Label
    Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2006
    Zinfandel from California
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      Currently Unavailable $69.97
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      69 97
      69 97
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    • Ravenswood Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
      Ravenswood Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2006
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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        17 99
        17 99
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      • Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
        Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2006
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • RP91
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        Currently Unavailable $69.97
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        69 97
        69 97
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      • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
        Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2006
        Zinfandel from California
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $69.97
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        69 97
        69 97
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      • Starlite Vineyards Alexander Valley Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
        Starlite Vineyards Alexander Valley Zinfandel 2006
        Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • WE92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $42.99
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        42 99
        42 99
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      • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
        Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2006
        Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
        • RP93
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $89.97
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        89 97
        89 97
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      • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
        Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2006
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • RP91
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $69.97
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        69 97
        69 97
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      • Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
        Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2006
        Zinfandel from California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $21.99
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          21 99
          21 99
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        • Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
          Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 2006
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • W&S91
          4.1 10 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          28
          15 99
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        • Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
          Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2006
          Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
            3.2 8 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $8.79
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            8 79
            8 79
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          • Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
            Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2006
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $89.97
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              89 97
              89 97
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            • Turley Duarte Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
              Turley Duarte Zinfandel 2006
              Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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                Currently Unavailable $68.97
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                68 97
                68 97
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              • Turley Moore Earthquake Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                Turley Moore Earthquake Zinfandel 2006
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                • WS91
                • RP90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $74.97
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                74 97
                74 97
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              • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2006
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                • W&S96
                • CG94
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $59.99
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                59 99
                59 99
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              • Clos du Bois Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                Clos du Bois Zinfandel 2006
                Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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                  19 99
                  19 99
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                • Artezin Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                  Artezin Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006
                  Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • WS90
                  3.8 38 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  24 99
                  19 99
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                • Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                  Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2006
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                  • WE91
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                  Currently Unavailable $22.97
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                  29 99
                  22 97
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                • Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                  Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard Zinfandel 2006
                  Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  • RP92
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $85.97
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                  85 97
                  85 97
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                • Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                  Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2006
                  Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                  • CG94
                  • WE90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                  36 99
                  36 99
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                • Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                  Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2006
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                  • W&S91
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                  35
                  24 99
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                • Chase Family Hayne Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                  Chase Family Hayne Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2006
                  Zinfandel from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                    45
                    24 99
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                  • Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                    Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2006
                    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                    • RP94
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $68.99
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                    68 99
                    68 99
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                  • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2006
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    • CG95
                    3.7 51 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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                    32 99
                    32 99
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                  • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                    Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2006
                    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                      11 99
                      11 99
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