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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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  • Dark Matter Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Dark Matter Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $179.97
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      179 97
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    • Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2009 Front Bottle Shot
      Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2009
      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        19 99
        16 99
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      • Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
        Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2009
        Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
          4.6 12 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          19
          15 99
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        • Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2009 Front Bottle Shot
          Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2009
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $12.99
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            16 99
            12 99
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          • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
            Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2009
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
            • RP94
            • WS92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $69.99
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            69 99
            69 99
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          • Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
            Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2009
            Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • RP91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $85.00
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            85
            85
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          • Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
            Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2009
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $22.99
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              27 99
              22 99
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            • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
              Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2009
              Zinfandel from California
              • RP91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $57.99
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              57 99
              57 99
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            • Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
              Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2009
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              • WS89
              • W&S88
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $14.99
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              18 99
              14 99
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            • Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
              Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 2009
              Zinfandel from California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $25.99
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                30
                25 99
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              • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2009
                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                • WE94
                • WS92
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                38
                29 99
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              • Primaterra Primitivo 2009 Front Label
                Primaterra Primitivo 2009
                Zinfandel from Italy
                  3.7 9 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $8.49
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                  8 49
                  8 49
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                • Four Vines Biker Paso Robles Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                  Four Vines Biker Paso Robles Zinfandel 2009
                  Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                  • JS90
                  3.9 18 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                  23 99
                  23 99
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                • Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                  Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2009
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • RP93
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $69.99
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                  69 99
                  69 99
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                • Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                  Turley Ueberroth Zinfandel 2009
                  Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                  • WS95
                  • RP94
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $85.00
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                  85
                  85
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                • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                  Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2009
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                  • WS95
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                  39 99
                  39 99
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                • St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                  St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2009
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                  • W&S91
                  3.9 12 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                  22 99
                  18 99
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                • Mietz Cellars Dry Creek Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                  Mietz Cellars Dry Creek Zinfandel 2009
                  Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                    25
                    13 99
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                  • Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                    Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2009
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      28
                      19 99
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                    • Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard North Flats Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                      Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard North Flats Zinfandel 2009
                      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      • RP91
                      • W&S90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $79.99
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                      79 99
                      79 99
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                    • Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard South Knoll Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                      Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard South Knoll Zinfandel 2009
                      Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      • WE92
                      • W&S90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $79.99
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                      79 99
                      79 99
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                    • Sausal Winery Family Old Vine Estate Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                      Sausal Winery Family Old Vine Estate Zinfandel 2009
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • WS88
                      3.1 8 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                      20
                      11 99
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                    • Decoy Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                      Decoy Zinfandel 2009
                      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      • W&S91
                      3.6 8 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      22
                      19 99
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                    • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                      Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2009
                      Zinfandel from California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                        19 99
                        19 99
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                      • Cline Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
                        Cline Zinfandel 2009
                        Zinfandel from California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $8.97
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                          10 99
                          8 97
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