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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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  • Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2005  Front Label
    Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
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    Currently Unavailable $69.97
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  • Ravenswood Barricia Vineyard Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
    Ravenswood Barricia Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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    • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
      Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • CG95
      3.5 13 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      29 99
      29 99
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    • Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2005  Front Label
      Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2005
      Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
      • RP92
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      69 97
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    • Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
      Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2005
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • WE90
      3.6 5 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      19 99
      19 99
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    • Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2005  Front Label
      Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2005
      Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
      • RP93
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $79.97
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      79 97
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    • Turley Grist Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
      Turley Grist Zinfandel 2005
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • RP91
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $7.99
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      7 99
      7 99
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    • Williams Selyem Feeney Vineyard Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Feeney Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • RP92
      • WE91
      • WS90
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $85.00
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      85
      85
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    • Joel Gott Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
      Joel Gott Zinfandel 2005
      Zinfandel from 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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      • Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
        Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • WE90
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $25.99
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        25 99
        25 99
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      • Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
        Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2005
        Zinfandel from California
          4.5 22 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          19 99
          19 99
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        • Simi Sonoma County Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
          Simi Sonoma County Zinfandel 2005
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $18.99
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            23 99
            18 99
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          • Cline Sonoma Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
            Cline Sonoma Zinfandel 2005
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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              Currently Unavailable $25.99
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              25 99
              25 99
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            • Woodenhead Braccialini Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
              Woodenhead Braccialini Zinfandel 2005
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                36
                19 99
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              • Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2005
                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                • CG91
                0.0 0 Ratings
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                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                19 99
                19 99
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              • Cline Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                Cline Zinfandel 2005
                Zinfandel from California
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                  Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                  10 99
                  10 99
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                • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                  Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2005
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                  • WS90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
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                  Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                  25 99
                  25 99
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                • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                  Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2005
                  Zinfandel from California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                    Currently Unavailable $18.29
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                    18 29
                    18 29
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                  • Rosenblum Cellars Snows Lake Vineyard Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                    Rosenblum Cellars Snows Lake Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
                    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                    • RP91
                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                    36 99
                    36 99
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                  • Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                    Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 2005
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                      23 99
                      23 99
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                    • Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                      Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel 2005
                      Zinfandel from North Coast, California
                      • WS88
                      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 2005 Front Label
                      Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2005
                      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                      • CG91
                      • RP90
                      • W&S90
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                      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                      23 99
                      23 99
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                    • Wild Hog JMR Vineyard Talmage Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                      Wild Hog JMR Vineyard Talmage Zinfandel 2005
                      Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
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                        30
                        19 99
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                      • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                        Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2005
                        Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $13.79
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                          13 79
                          13 79
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                        • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2005 Front Label
                          Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2005
                          Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                          • RP91
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $51.99
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                          51 99
                          51 99
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