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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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    19 99
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  • Ravenswood Sonoma Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Ravenswood Sonoma Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from North Coast, 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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      20 99
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    • Wente Zinfandel Estate 1999
      Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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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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        • Folie a Deux Petite Folie Amador County Zinfandel 1999
          Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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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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            • 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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              • Rutherford Ranch Zinfandel 1999
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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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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                • 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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                    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  • Charles Krug Alexander Valley Zinfandel 1999
                    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                    • Ravenswood Mendocino Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                      Ravenswood Mendocino Zinfandel 1999
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • WS87
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                      18 99
                      14 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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                      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                      27 99
                      22 99
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                    • Marietta Zinfandel 1999
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • RP89
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                      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                    • Clos Du Val Zinfandel 1999
                      Zinfandel from California
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                        17 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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                        20 49
                        18 44
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                      • Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Monte Rosso Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                        Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Monte Rosso Zinfandel 1999
                        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                        • WE88
                        • WS85
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                        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                        23 99
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                      • Rosenblum Cellars Richard Sauret Vineyard Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                        Rosenblum Cellars Richard Sauret Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
                        Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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                        • Hanna Bismark Ranch Zinfandel 1999
                          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                          • WE92
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                          50 99
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                        • Belvedere Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 1999
                          Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                          • Rosenblum Cellars Allegria Vineyard Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
                            Rosenblum Cellars Allegria Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
                            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                            • W&S90
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                            32 99
                            32 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
                            43 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
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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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