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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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  • Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 1998 Front Label
    Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 1998
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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    • Rabbit Ridge CA Barrel Cuvee Zinfandel 1998
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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      • Bogle Zinfandel 1998
        Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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        • DeLoach Estate Bottled Zinfandel 1998
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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          • Woodbridge Zinfandel 1998 Front Label
            Woodbridge Zinfandel 1998
            Zinfandel from California
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            • Rabbit Ridge Winemakers Grand Reserve Zinfandel 1998
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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              • Hunter Ashby Zinfandel 1998
                Zinfandel from California
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                • Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Zinfandel 1998 Front Label
                  Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Zinfandel 1998
                  Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                  • Marietta Zinfandel 1998
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                    • Folie a Deux Eschen Zinfandel 1998
                      Zinfandel from California
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                      • Folie a Deux Bowman Zinfandel 1998
                        Zinfandel from California
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                        • Beringer Clear Lake Zinfandel 1998 Front Label
                          Beringer Clear Lake Zinfandel 1998
                          Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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                          • Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 1998
                            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                            • Peirano Estate Primo Zinfandel 1998
                              Zinfandel from California
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                              • Peachy Canyon Westside Zinfandel 1998
                                Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                                • WE89
                                • WS86
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                              • Alderbrook Winery Zinfandel 1998
                                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                                • Rabbit Ridge Olsen Vineyard Zinfandel 1998 Front Label
                                  Rabbit Ridge Olsen Vineyard Zinfandel 1998
                                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                                  • Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 1998 Front Label
                                    Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 1998
                                    Zinfandel from North Coast, California
                                    • RP90
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                                  • Burgess Russian River Zinfandel 1998 Front Label
                                    Burgess Russian River Zinfandel 1998
                                    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                                    • WS88
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                                  • CK Mondavi Zinfandel 1998
                                    Zinfandel from California
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                                    • Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 1998 Front Bottle Shot
                                      Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 1998
                                      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                                      • RP94
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                                    • Oliver Caldwell Cellars Aida Vineyard Zinfandel 1998 Front Label
                                      Oliver Caldwell Cellars Aida Vineyard Zinfandel 1998
                                      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                                      • Turning Leaf Zinfandel 1998
                                        Zinfandel from California
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                                        • CK Mondavi Zinfandel (1.5 L) 1998
                                          Zinfandel from California
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                                          • Buena Vista Zinfandel 1998 Front Label
                                            Buena Vista Zinfandel 1998
                                            Zinfandel from California
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