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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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  • Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
    Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 2004
    Zinfandel from California
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $10.79
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      10 79
      10 79
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    • Brass Tacks Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
      Brass Tacks Zinfandel 2004
      Zinfandel from North Coast, California
        4.1 8 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 99
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      • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
        Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2004
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • CG90
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $23.99
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        23 99
        23 99
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      • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
        Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2004
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • RP90
        • CG90
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $38.99
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        38 99
        38 99
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      • Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
        Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2004
        Zinfandel from California
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $17.29
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          17 29
          17 29
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        • Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
          Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2004
          Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • RP93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $109.00
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          109
          109
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        • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
          Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2004
          Zinfandel from California
          • WE90
          3.5 6 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $16.99
          Try the 2019 Vintage 15 99
          16 99
          16 99
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        • Estancia Paso Robles Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
          Estancia Paso Robles Zinfandel 2004
          Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
            3.3 15 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
            14 99
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          • Cardinal Zin  2004 Front Label
            Cardinal Zin 2004
            Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $23.99
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              23 99
              23 99
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            • Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
              Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2004
              Zinfandel from California
                0.0 0 Ratings
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                Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                13 99
                13 99
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              • Bocce Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                Bocce Zinfandel 2004
                Zinfandel from California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $7.99
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                  10 79
                  7 99
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                • Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                  Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2004
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $16.79
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                    16 79
                    16 79
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                  • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                    Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2004
                    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Regular price
                      Currently Unavailable $59.97
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                      59 97
                      59 97
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                    • Vina Robles Westside Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                      Vina Robles Westside Zinfandel 2004
                      Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
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                        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                        21 99
                        21 99
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                      • Gary Farrell Dry Creek Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                        Gary Farrell Dry Creek Zinfandel 2004
                        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                          27 99
                          27 99
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                        • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel (scuffed label) 2004 Front Label
                          Turley Old Vines Zinfandel (scuffed label) 2004
                          Zinfandel from California
                          • RP92
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Regular price
                          Currently Unavailable $74.97
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                          74 97
                          74 97
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                        • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                          Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2004
                          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $19.79
                            Try the 2019 Vintage 21 99
                            19 79
                            19 79
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                          • Renwood Sierra Foothills Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                            Renwood Sierra Foothills Zinfandel 2004
                            Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
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                              Currently Unavailable $11.79
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                              11 79
                              11 79
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                            • Wild Horse Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                              Wild Horse Zinfandel 2004
                              Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
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                                Currently Unavailable $19.79
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                                19 79
                                19 79
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                              • Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                                Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2004
                                Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                                • W&S91
                                • WS90
                                • RP90
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Regular price
                                Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                                24 99
                                24 99
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                              • Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                                Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 2004
                                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
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                                  Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                                  25 99
                                  25 99
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                                • Brassfield Round Mountain Vineyard Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                                  Brassfield Round Mountain Vineyard Zinfandel 2004
                                  Zinfandel from North Coast, California
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                                    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                                    21 99
                                    21 99
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                                  • Fife Redhead Vineyard Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                                    Fife Redhead Vineyard Zinfandel 2004
                                    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                                      0.0 0 Ratings
                                      Regular price
                                      Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                                      27 99
                                      27 99
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                                    • Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                                      Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 2004
                                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                                      • WS91
                                      • CG91
                                      0.0 0 Ratings
                                      Regular price
                                      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                                      21 99
                                      21 99
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                                    • Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                                      Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 2004
                                      Zinfandel from California
                                        0.0 0 Ratings
                                        Regular price
                                        Currently Unavailable $28.99
                                        Try the 2018 Vintage 36 99
                                        28 99
                                        28 99
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