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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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  • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
    • WW90
    • WE90
    3.9 181 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    • JD90
    4.0 29 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.97
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    26
    19 97
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  • Decoy Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Decoy Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW89
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
    28 99
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  • Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    36 99
    36 99
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  • The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW93
    4.4 60 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
    28 99
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  • Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • JD94
    • WW94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    41 99
    41 99
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  • McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW89
    3.6 16 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    12 99
    12 99
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  • Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • JS94
    • WS93
    • WW92
    • JD92
    4.2 23 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    36 99
    36 99
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  • Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    4.8 8 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    49 99
    49 99
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  • Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • JD95
    • JS94
    • WW92
    • CG90
    4.2 30 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    36 99
    36 99
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  • Rombauer California Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Rombauer California Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Rombauer El Dorado Twin Rivers Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Rombauer El Dorado Twin Rivers Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $52.99
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    52 99
    52 99
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