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Zinfandel Wine

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. Small quantities of Zinfandel grapes grow in countries as disparate as Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Washington and Oregon produce Zinfandel grapes as well. In Croatia, production increased dramatically in 2001 once the news hit of the connection with Zinfandel grapes and Primitivo. From an early discovery of 22 vines, there are now more than 200,000. In Puglia about 10,000 acres exist. In California, Zinfandel is the second most-planted red grape, after Cabernet Sauvignon, with more than 50,000 acres, and it has been around since the 1850’s at least.

Zinfandel History

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 quality 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. California versions often show blueberry, raspberry, boysenberry, and peach yogurt flavors. Pepper, spice and a brambly character commonly make an appearance as well.

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 Caesar 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. Old to very old Zinfandel grape vines are prized, even though they produce smaller amounts of fruit. The wines made from such gnarly old stumps are avidly sought after. Whatever you call it, Zinfandel is a wine worth exploring.

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  • Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
    Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2002
    Zinfandel from California
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      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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    • Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
      Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2002
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • W&S90
      4.1 10 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $18.29
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      18 29
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    • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
      Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2002
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • WE89
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      Currently Unavailable $34.99
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      34 99
      34 99
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    • Cline Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
      Cline Zinfandel 2002
      Zinfandel from California
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        15 99
        15 99
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      • Kenwood Sonoma Zinfandel 2002
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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          16 99
          13 99
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        • Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
          Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2002
          Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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            Currently Unavailable $17.99
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          • Gary Farrell Dry Creek Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
            Gary Farrell Dry Creek Zinfandel 2002
            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
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              Currently Unavailable $29.99
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              29 99
              29 99
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            • Bonny Doon Cardinal Zin 2002 Front Label
              Bonny Doon Cardinal Zin 2002
              Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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                26 99
                26 99
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              • Fife Redhead Vineyard Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                Fife Redhead Vineyard Zinfandel 2002
                Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
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                  Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                  29 99
                  29 99
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                • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2002
                  Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                    15 99
                    15 99
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                  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2002
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    • WS92
                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                    17 99
                    17 99
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                  • Renwood Old Vine Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                    Renwood Old Vine Zinfandel 2002
                    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      19 99
                      19 99
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                    • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                      Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2002
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • RP92
                      • WS91
                      0.0 0 Ratings
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                      Currently Unavailable $31.99
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                      31 99
                      31 99
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                    • Chateau Souverain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                      Chateau Souverain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2002
                      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                        3.6 9 Ratings
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                        Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                        27 99
                        27 99
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                      • Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                        Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2002
                        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                        • RP93
                        0.0 0 Ratings
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                        Currently Unavailable $69.97
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                        69 97
                        69 97
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                      • Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                        Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2002
                        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                        • RP94
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                        Currently Unavailable $64.99
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                        64 99
                        64 99
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                      • Sobon Estate Old Vines Zinfandel 2002
                        Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                        • WE91
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                        14 99
                        14 99
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                      • Clos LaChance El Dorado Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                        Clos LaChance El Dorado Zinfandel 2002
                        Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                        • W&S90
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                        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                        18 99
                        18 99
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                      • Camelot Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                        Camelot Zinfandel 2002
                        Zinfandel from California
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                          8 99
                          7 99
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                        • Turley Duarte Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                          Turley Duarte Zinfandel 2002
                          Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                          • WS93
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $64.97
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                          64 97
                          64 97
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                        • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                          Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2002
                          Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                          • RP93
                          • WS92
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $64.97
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                          64 97
                          64 97
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                        • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                          Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2002
                          Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                            Currently Unavailable $64.97
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                            64 97
                            64 97
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                          • Zingaro Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                            Zingaro Zinfandel 2002
                            Zinfandel from California
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                              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                              15 99
                              15 99
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                            • Alderbrook Winery Old Vine Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                              Alderbrook Winery Old Vine Zinfandel 2002
                              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                              • WE91
                              3.7 19 Ratings
                              Regular price
                              Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                              19 99
                              19 99
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                            • Peachy Canyon Westside Zinfandel 2002
                              Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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                                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                                19 99
                                19 99
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