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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.

Coming Soon: Regions Map. This is not a final layout.
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        Fine Wine
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        • Baron Herzog Old Vine Zinfandel (OU Kosher) 2012 Front Label
          Baron Herzog Old Vine Zinfandel (OU Kosher) 2012
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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          • Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
            • WW90
            4.1 34 Ratings
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          • Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
            • RP93
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          • Beran Napa Valley Zinfandel 2012  Front Label
            Beran Napa Valley Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
            • WW91
            3.9 15 Ratings
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          • Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from California
            • WS91
            • RP90
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          • Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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            • Turley Heminway Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Turley Heminway Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
              • RP94
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            • Peterson Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Peterson Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
              • WE90
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            • Joseph Swan Mancini Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Joseph Swan Mancini Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
              • RP90
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            • Decoy Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Decoy Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
              • WE90
              3.9 7 Ratings
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            • Peachy Canyon Chillhouse Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Peachy Canyon Chillhouse Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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              • Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2012
                Zinfandel from California
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                • Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                  Turley Fredericks Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • RP94
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                • XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                  XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
                  Zinfandel from California
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                  • Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                    Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
                    • WS93
                    • WE90
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                  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
                    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    • CG92
                    • WW91
                    • D91
                    • WS90
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                  • GEN5 Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                    GEN5 Zinfandel 2012
                    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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                    • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                      Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2012
                      Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
                      • RP94
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                    • Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                      Frei Brothers Reserve Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012
                      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                      • RP89
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                    • Turley Estate Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                      Turley Estate Zinfandel 2012
                      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                      • RP93
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                    • Boneshaker Lodi Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                      Boneshaker Lodi Zinfandel 2012
                      Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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                      • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                        Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2012
                        Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
                        • WE90
                        3.8 6 Ratings
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                      • Peachy Canyon Westside Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
                        Peachy Canyon Westside Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012
                        Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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                        • Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                          Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2012
                          Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
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                          • Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                            Mountain View Winery Clockspring Zinfandel 2012
                            Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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