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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 was born in Croatia and later 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.

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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    Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2003
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
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    Gallo of Sonoma Reserve Zinfandel 2003
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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    • Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2003
      Zinfandel from California
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        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        12 99
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        Peachy Canyon Westside Zinfandel 2003
        Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          19 99
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          Rosenblum Cellars Richard Sauret Vineyard Zinfandel 2003
          Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
          • WS92
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          Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2003
          Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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            Rosenblum Cellars Continente Vineyard Zinfandel 2003
            Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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              Rosenblum Cellars Rockpile Road Zinfandel 2003
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              • WS94
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              Currently Unavailable $29.99
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            • Beringer Founders Estate Zinfandel 2003
              Zinfandel from California
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                Wild Horse Zinfandel 2003
                Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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                  15 28
                  15 28
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                  Kangarilla Road Langhorne Creek Zinfandel 2003
                  Zinfandel from Australia
                  • RP88
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                  Limerick Lane Collins Vineyard Zinfandel 2003
                  Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2003
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    • WS90
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                    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  • Talus Zinfandel 2003
                    Zinfandel from California
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                    • La Corte Anfora Zinfandel 2003
                      Zinfandel from Italy
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                        12 99
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                        Kenwood Zinfandel Lodi Old Vines 2003
                        Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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                        • Echelon Zinfandel 2003
                          Zinfandel from California
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                          • Robert Mondavi Private Selection Zinfandel 2003
                            Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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                              Renwood Winery Old Vine Zinfandel 2003
                              Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                              • WE90
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                              Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Zinfandel 2003
                              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                                Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2003
                                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                                  Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2003
                                  Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                                  • RP96
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                                  79 99
                                  79 99
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                                  Wente Smith Bench Zinfandel 2003
                                  Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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                                    Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 2003
                                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                                      Folie a Deux Amador County Zinfandel 2003
                                      Zinfandel from California
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                                        Currently Unavailable $19.79
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