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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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  • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from California
    • RP91
    • WS91
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  • Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
    • WW90
    4.1 34 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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    19 99
    11 99
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  • Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.97
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    79 97
    79 97
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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    4.0 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    20
    17 99
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  • LangeTwins Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    LangeTwins Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      3.8 12 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      14 99
      14 99
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    • Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from California
      • WS91
      • RP90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $42.99
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      42 99
      42 99
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    • Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
      Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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        Currently Unavailable $24.99
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        24 99
        24 99
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      • Four Vines The Sophisticate Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
        Four Vines The Sophisticate Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • WE90
        4.6 8 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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        25
        21 99
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      • Turley Heminway Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
        Turley Heminway Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • RP94
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $79.99
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        79 99
        79 99
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      • Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
        Tortoise Creek Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        • WE90
        3.9 8 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        14 99
        14 99
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      • Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
        Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • RP91
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $35.99
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        38
        35 99
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      • Peterson Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
        Peterson Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • WE90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $24.99
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        24 99
        24 99
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      • Peachy Canyon Chillhouse Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
        Peachy Canyon Chillhouse Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          19 99
          19 99
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        • Decoy Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          Decoy Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • WE90
          3.9 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $25.99
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          25 99
          25 99
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        • Joseph Swan Mancini Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          Joseph Swan Mancini Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • RP90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $34.99
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          38
          34 99
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        • Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
          • RP94
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $79.99
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          79 99
          79 99
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        • XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from California
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            17 99
            17 99
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          • Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • WS93
            • WE90
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            Currently Unavailable $57.99
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            57 99
            57 99
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          • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
            • RP94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $79.97
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            79 97
            79 97
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          • GEN5 Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            GEN5 Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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              Currently Unavailable $11.99
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              11 99
              11 99
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            • Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
              • RP89
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $16.99
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              20
              16 99
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            • Turley Estate Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Turley Estate Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
              • RP93
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $85.00
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              85
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            • Boneshaker Lodi Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Boneshaker Lodi Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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                25
                18 99
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              • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2012
                Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
                • WE90
                3.8 6 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                23
                11 99
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              • Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2012
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $104.99
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                  104 99
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