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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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  • Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
    Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 2004
    Zinfandel from California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      12 99
      12 99
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    • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
      Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2004
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • W&S91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      29 99
      29 99
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    • Renwood Winery Old Vine Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
      Renwood Winery Old Vine Zinfandel 2004
      Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $18.49
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        18 49
        18 49
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      • Kenwood Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
        Kenwood Zinfandel 2004
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $12.79
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          18 28
          12 79
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        • Gallo of Sonoma Reserve Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
          Gallo of Sonoma Reserve Zinfandel 2004
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • W&S90
          3.6 20 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          15 99
          15 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
          Currently Unavailable $33.99
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          33 99
          33 99
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        • Murphy-Goode Snake Eyes Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
          Murphy-Goode Snake Eyes Zinfandel 2004
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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            37
            29 99
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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
            Currently Unavailable $109.00
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            109
            109
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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
            Currently Unavailable $69.97
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            69 97
            69 97
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          • Brass Tacks Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
            Brass Tacks Zinfandel 2004
            Zinfandel from North Coast, California
              4.1 8 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $9.99
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              19 99
              9 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
                Currently Unavailable $12.49
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                14 28
                12 49
                Save $1.80 (13%)
              • Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2004
                Zinfandel from California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $10.79
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                  10 79
                  10 79
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                • Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                  Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2004
                  Zinfandel from North Coast, California
                  • W&S90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                  18 99
                  18 99
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                • Renwood Winery Grandmere Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                  Renwood Winery Grandmere Zinfandel 2004
                  Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                  • RP90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                  34 99
                  34 99
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                • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                  Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2004
                  Zinfandel from California
                  • WE90
                  3.5 6 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                  18
                  16 99
                  Save $1.01 (6%)
                • Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                  Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2004
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $15.29
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                    15 28
                    15 28
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                  • Bocce Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                    Bocce Zinfandel 2004
                    Zinfandel from California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $7.99
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                      10 79
                      7 99
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                    • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                      Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2004
                      Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $59.97
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                        59 97
                        59 97
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                      • Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                        Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2004
                        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $27.99
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                          27 99
                          27 99
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                        • Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                          Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2004
                          Zinfandel from California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                            10 99
                            10 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
                              Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                              25 99
                              25 99
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                            • Wild Horse Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                              Wild Horse Zinfandel 2004
                              Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                                18 28
                                15 99
                                Save $2.30 (13%)
                              • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                                Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2004
                                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                                • CG90
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $20.99
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                                20 99
                                20 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
                                  Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                                  25 99
                                  25 99
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                                • Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2004 Front Label
                                  Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2004
                                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Currently Unavailable $22.99
                                    Try the 2014 Vintage 21 99
                                    22 99
                                    22 99
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