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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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  • Robert Biale Vineyards Aldo's Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $39.97
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    • Robert Biale Vineyards Monte Rosso Zinfandel 1999
      Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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      • Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
        Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 1999
        Zinfandel from California
        • WS87
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        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
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      • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel 1999
        Zinfandel from California
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        • Ballentine BG Reserve Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
          Ballentine BG Reserve Zinfandel 1999
          Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
          • RP90
          • WE90
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        • Wente Zinfandel Estate 1999
          Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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            Currently Unavailable $12.99
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            12 99
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          • Tamas Estates Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
            Tamas Estates Zinfandel 1999
            Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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              10 99
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            • Folie a Deux Petite Folie Amador County Zinfandel 1999
              Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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                14 99
                14 99
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              • Flowers Talmage Beach Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                Flowers Talmage Beach Zinfandel 1999
                Zinfandel from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                • Rabbit Ridge CA Barrel Cuvee Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                  Rabbit Ridge CA Barrel Cuvee Zinfandel 1999
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                    12 99
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                  • Rutherford Ranch Zinfandel 1999
                    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                    • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                      Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 1999
                      Zinfandel from California
                      • RP93
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                      Currently Unavailable $69.99
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                      69 99
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                    • Robert Mondavi Coastal Zinfandel 1999
                      Zinfandel from North Coast, California
                      • WS85
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                      14 99
                      14 99
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                    • Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                      Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel 1999
                      Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                      • WS85
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                      19 99
                      19 99
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                    • Guenoc Zinfandel 1999
                      Zinfandel from California
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                        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                        14 99
                        14 99
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                      • Burgess Russian River Zinfandel 1999
                        Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                        • WE90
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                        19 99
                        10 99
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                      • Charles Krug Alexander Valley Zinfandel 1999
                        Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                          15 99
                          15 99
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                        • Ravenswood Mendocino Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                          Ravenswood Mendocino Zinfandel 1999
                          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                          • WS87
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                        • DeLoach Saitone Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                          DeLoach Saitone Zinfandel 1999
                          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                          • WE88
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                        • Rabbit Ridge Sonoma Zinfandel 1999
                          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                          • WS89
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                        • Clos Du Val Zinfandel 1999
                          Zinfandel from California
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                          • Hanna Bismark Ranch Zinfandel 1999
                            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                            • WE92
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                          • Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                            Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 1999
                            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                            • Martinelli Vigna Di Luisa Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                              Martinelli Vigna Di Luisa Zinfandel 1999
                              Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                                Currently Unavailable $47.99
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                              • Cline Fulton Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                                Cline Fulton Zinfandel 1999
                                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                                • W&S87
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                                Currently Unavailable $43.99
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                                43 99
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