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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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  • La Crema Russian River Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
    La Crema Russian River Zinfandel 2000
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • Clos du Bois Dry Creek Reserve Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
      Clos du Bois Dry Creek Reserve Zinfandel 2000
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • WE90
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    • Talus Zinfandel 2000
      Zinfandel from California
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      • DeLoach California Zinfandel 2000
        Zinfandel from California
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        • Burgess Zinfandel Lodi 2000
          Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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          • Robert Mondavi Private Selection Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
            Robert Mondavi Private Selection Zinfandel 2000
            Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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            • Buehler Zinfandel 2000
              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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              • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Zinfandel 2000
                Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                • W&S92
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              • Rabbit Ridge CA Barrel Cuvee Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                Rabbit Ridge CA Barrel Cuvee Zinfandel 2000
                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                • Robert Mondavi Coastal Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                  Robert Mondavi Coastal Zinfandel 2000
                  Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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                  • Belvedere Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2000
                    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                    • Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                      Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2000
                      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                      • Fetzer Valley Oaks Zinfandel 2000
                        Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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                        • Estancia Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                          Estancia Zinfandel 2000
                          Zinfandel from California
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                          • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                            Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel 2000
                            Zinfandel from California
                            • WS86
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                          • Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Fox Creek Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                            Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Fox Creek Zinfandel 2000
                            Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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                              15 99
                              12 99
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                            • Villa Mt. Eden Coastal Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                              Villa Mt. Eden Coastal Zinfandel 2000
                              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                              • Chateau Souverain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                                Chateau Souverain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2000
                                Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                                • W&S89
                                • RP87
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                              • Steele Du Pratt Zinfandel 2000
                                Zinfandel from California
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                                • Turning Leaf Zinfandel 2000
                                  Zinfandel from California
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                                  • Beaulieu Vineyard BV Coastal Estates Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                                    Beaulieu Vineyard BV Coastal Estates Zinfandel 2000
                                    Zinfandel from California
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                                    • Guenoc Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                                      Guenoc Zinfandel 2000
                                      Zinfandel from California
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                                      • Clos du Bois Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                                        Clos du Bois Zinfandel 2000
                                        Zinfandel from California
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                                        • Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2000
                                          Zinfandel from California
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                                          • Rancho Zabaco Chiotti Vineyard Zinfandel 2000 Front Label
                                            Rancho Zabaco Chiotti Vineyard Zinfandel 2000
                                            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                                            • WE89
                                            • WS87
                                            • RP87
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