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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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  • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
    Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2011
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • WS95
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    41 99
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  • Carlisle Napa Valley Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
    Carlisle Napa Valley Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2011
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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    47 99
    47 99
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  • GEN5 Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
    GEN5 Zinfandel 2011
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      13 99
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    • Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
      Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2011
      Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • WE93
      • RP93
      • WS93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $85.00
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      85
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    • Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
      Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2011
      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      • WS94
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $69.97
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      69 97
      69 97
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    • Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
      Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 2011
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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        Currently Unavailable $57.99
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        57 99
        57 99
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      • Renwood Winery Premier Old Vine Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
        Renwood Winery Premier Old Vine Zinfandel 2011
        Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
        • WE91
        3.4 7 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        20
        18 99
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      • Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
        Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2011
        Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $13.98
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          19
          13 98
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        • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
          Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2011
          Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
          • W&S93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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          39 99
          39 99
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        • Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
          Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2011
          Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
            5.0 8 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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            19 99
            19 99
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          • Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
            Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2011
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $17.98
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              21
              17 98
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            • Saucelito Canyon Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
              Saucelito Canyon Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2011
              Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                45
                34 99
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              • LangeTwins Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                LangeTwins Zinfandel 2011
                Zinfandel from California
                  3.8 10 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                  14 99
                  14 99
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                • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2011 Front Label
                  Frog's Leap Zinfandel (3 Liter Bottle) 2011
                  Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                  • W&S91
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $120.00
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                  120
                  120
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                • Williams Selyem Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                  Williams Selyem Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel 2011
                  Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  • WE94
                  • WS92
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $68.99
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                  68 99
                  68 99
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                • Saxon Brown Stonewall Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                  Saxon Brown Stonewall Zinfandel 2011
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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                    37 99
                    37 99
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                  • Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                    Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2011
                    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                    • W&S91
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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                    32 99
                    32 99
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                  • Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                    Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2011
                    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      19 99
                      19 99
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                    • Cellar No. 8 Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                      Cellar No. 8 Zinfandel 2011
                      Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                        10 99
                        10 99
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                      • Hartford Highwire Vineyard Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                        Hartford Highwire Vineyard Zinfandel 2011
                        Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                        • WE91
                        • WS90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $47.99
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                        55
                        47 99
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                      • ONEHOPE California Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                        ONEHOPE California Zinfandel 2011
                        Zinfandel from California
                          4.3 5 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                          19
                          12 99
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                        • Lava Cap Reserve Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                          Lava Cap Reserve Zinfandel 2011
                          Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
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                            23 99
                            23 99
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                          • Cartlidge & Browne Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                            Cartlidge & Browne Zinfandel 2011
                            Zinfandel from North Coast, California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                              15 99
                              15 99
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                            • Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                              Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2011
                              Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                              • TP91
                              4.2 5 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                              21 99
                              21 99
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                            • Buena Vista Sonoma Zinfandel 2011 Front Label
                              Buena Vista Sonoma Zinfandel 2011
                              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                                19 99
                                19 99
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