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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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  • Starlite Vineyards Alexander Valley Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
    Starlite Vineyards Alexander Valley Zinfandel 2006
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
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    Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    42 99
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  • Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2006  Front Label
    Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2006
    Zinfandel from California
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      57 99
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    • Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
      Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 2006
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • W&S91
      4.1 10 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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      28
      15 99
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    • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
      Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2006
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        3.2 12 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        19 99
        19 99
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      • Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
        Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2006
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • RP93
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        Currently Unavailable $89.97
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        89 97
        89 97
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      • Rombauer California Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
        Rombauer California Zinfandel 2006
        Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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          Currently Unavailable $26.99
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          26 99
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        • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
          Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2006
          Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
          • RP93
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          Currently Unavailable $89.97
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          89 97
          89 97
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        • Bradford Mountain Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
          Bradford Mountain Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006
          Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
          • W&S93
          3.9 13 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $16.99
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          28
          16 99
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        • Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
          Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2006
          Zinfandel from California
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            21 99
            21 99
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          • Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
            Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2006
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
            • CG94
            • WE90
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            Currently Unavailable $39.99
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            39 99
            39 99
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          • Ravenswood Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
            Ravenswood Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2006
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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              15 99
              15 99
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            • Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
              Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2006
              Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                4.0 16 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $9.97
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                19 99
                9 97
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              • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2006
                Zinfandel from California
                • RP90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $64.99
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                64 99
                64 99
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              • Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006
                Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  22 99
                  19 99
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                • Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                  Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2006
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $12.79
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                    12 79
                    12 79
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                  • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                    Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2006
                    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                    • W&S96
                    • CG94
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                    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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                    59 99
                    59 99
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                  • Turley Moore Earthquake Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                    Turley Moore Earthquake Zinfandel 2006
                    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                    • WS91
                    • RP90
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                    74 97
                    74 97
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                  • Chase Family Hayne Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                    Chase Family Hayne Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2006
                    Zinfandel from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
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                      45
                      24 99
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                    • Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                      Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2006
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • W&S91
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                      35
                      29 99
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                    • Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                      Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2006
                      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                      • RP91
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                      Currently Unavailable $57.99
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                      57 99
                      57 99
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                    • Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                      Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard Zinfandel 2006
                      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      • RP92
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                      Currently Unavailable $85.97
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                      85 97
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                    • Turley Duarte Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                      Turley Duarte Zinfandel 2006
                      Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $68.97
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                        68 97
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                      • Goodnight Cellars Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                        Goodnight Cellars Zinfandel 2006
                        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                        • Artezin Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                          Artezin Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006
                          Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                          • WS90
                          3.8 38 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $13.97
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                          25
                          13 97
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                        • Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2006 Front Label
                          Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2006
                          Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
                          • RP92
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $74.99
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                          74 99
                          74 99
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