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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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  • Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
    Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2008
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
      4.3 22 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      19 99
      19 99
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    • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
      Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2008
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • WE92
      • WS90
      • RP90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $26.99
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      36 99
      26 99
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    • Top Chef Quickfire Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
      Top Chef Quickfire Zinfandel 2008
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • WE87
      • WS87
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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      24 99
      24 99
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    • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
      Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2008
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • CG96
      • W&S90
      • WE90
      4.2 15 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $33.99
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      33 99
      33 99
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    • Ravenswood Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
      Ravenswood Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel 2008
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $11.99
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        19 99
        11 99
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      • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
        Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2008
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        • WS92
        • WE92
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $41.99
        Try the 2017 Vintage 49 99
        41 99
        41 99
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      • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
        Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2008
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • W&S95
        • WE91
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $36.99
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        36 99
        36 99
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      • Sausal Winery Family Old Vine Estate Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
        Sausal Winery Family Old Vine Estate Zinfandel 2008
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $16.29
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          19
          16 28
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        • Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
          Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2008
          Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
          • RP95
          • WS93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $60.00
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          60
          60
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        • Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
          Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2008
          Zinfandel from Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California
          • RP96
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $79.97
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          79 97
          79 97
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        • Chase Family Hayne Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
          Chase Family Hayne Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2008
          Zinfandel from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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            45
            24 99
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          • Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
            Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 2008
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
            • W&S91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $42.99
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            42 99
            42 99
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          • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
            Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2008
            Zinfandel from California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $12.97
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              16 28
              12 97
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            • Buehler Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
              Buehler Zinfandel 2008
              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                22 99
                22 99
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              • The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2008
                Zinfandel from California
                • WS91
                3.8 6 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                29 99
                29 99
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              • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008 Front Label
                Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
                Zinfandel from California
                  3.9 8 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                  22
                  12 99
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                • Terra d'Oro Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                  Terra d'Oro Zinfandel 2008
                  Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                    18
                    13 99
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                  • Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                    Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2008
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    • W&S90
                    4.2 5 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                    21
                    18 99
                    Save $2.01 (10%)
                  • Artezin Dry Creek Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                    Artezin Dry Creek Zinfandel 2008
                    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $17.59
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                      22
                      17 59
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                    • Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                      Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2008
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • RP88
                      4.2 5 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                      15 99
                      15 99
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                    • Kenwood Sonoma Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                      Kenwood Sonoma Zinfandel 2008
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • WE89
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                      14 99
                      14 99
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                    • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                      Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2008
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • CG89
                      • WS88
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                      18 99
                      18 99
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                    • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                      Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2008
                      Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                        3.7 6 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $12.79
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                        12 79
                        12 79
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                      • Sextant Central Coast Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                        Sextant Central Coast Zinfandel 2008
                        Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $18.29
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                          18 28
                          18 28
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                        • Zin Your Face Zinfandel 2008 Front Label
                          Zin Your Face Zinfandel 2008
                          Zinfandel from California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $10.29
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                            15
                            10 28
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