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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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  • 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
    19 99
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  • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from California
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      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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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
        12 99
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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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        20 99
        20 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
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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
            10 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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              Currently Unavailable $44.99
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              44 99
              44 99
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            • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Zinfandel 1999
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $15.49
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                15 49
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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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                    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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                  • Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                    Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel 1999
                    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                    • WS85
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                    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                    19 99
                    19 99
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                  • Burgess Russian River Zinfandel 1999
                    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                    • WE90
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                    Currently Unavailable $10.99
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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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                      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                      15 99
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                    • Clos du Bois Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                      Clos du Bois Zinfandel 1999
                      Zinfandel from California
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                        Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                        24 99
                        24 99
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                      • DeLoach Saitone Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                        DeLoach Saitone Zinfandel 1999
                        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                        • WE88
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                        27 99
                        22 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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                        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                        18 99
                        14 99
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                      • Rabbit Ridge Sonoma Zinfandel 1999
                        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                        • WS89
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                        Currently Unavailable $18.44
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                        18 44
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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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                        • Belvedere Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 1999
                          Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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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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                            • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                              Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 1999
                              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                              • Renwood Winery Jack Rabbit Flat Zinfandel 1999
                                Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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                                  Currently Unavailable $30.99
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                                  30 99
                                  30 99
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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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                                    47 99
                                    47 99
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