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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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  • Seghesio Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW94
    • RP92
    • WS91
    4.2 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.98
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  • Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Vineyard 29 Aida Estate Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $104.99
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      104 99
      104 99
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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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        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        20
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      • Zinfandelic Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
        Zinfandelic Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
          3.2 57 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          19 99
          19 99
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        • Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
          • WS91
          • RP90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $79.99
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          79 99
          79 99
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        • Quivira Reserve Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          Quivira Reserve Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • RP92
          • WE91
          • WS90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $41.99
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          41 99
          41 99
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        • Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
          • RP95
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $85.00
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          85
          85
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        • Rosenblum Cellars Paso Robles Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
          Rosenblum Cellars Paso Robles Zinfandel 2012
          Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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            29 99
            29 99
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          • Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • W&S92
            3.7 21 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $17.99
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            20
            17 99
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          • Ledge Dante Dusi Ranch Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
            Ledge Dante Dusi Ranch Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $39.99
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              45
              39 99
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            • Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Turley Judge Bell Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
              • RP91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $65.99
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              65 99
              65 99
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            • Renwood Fiddletown Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Renwood Fiddletown Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Fiddletown, Sierra Foothills, California
              • WW89
              • W&S89
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $23.99
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              25
              23 99
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            • Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
              • W&S93
              4.0 40 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $21.99
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              28
              21 99
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            • Renwood Grandpere Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Renwood Grandpere Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
              • WE92
              • WW91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $36.99
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              50
              36 99
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            • Pedroncelli Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Pedroncelli Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
              • RP90
              • WE90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $18.98
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              20
              18 98
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            • Jeff Cohn Cellars Botticelli Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Jeff Cohn Cellars Botticelli Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
              • RP93
              • CG91
              3.8 9 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $34.99
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              42
              34 99
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            • Renwood California Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
              Renwood California Zinfandel 2012
              Zinfandel from California
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                Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                14 99
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              • 3 Ball Zinfandel 2012 Front Bottle Shot
                3 Ball Zinfandel 2012
                Zinfandel from California
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                  Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                  11 99
                  11 99
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                • Steele Shooting Star Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                  Steele Shooting Star Zinfandel 2012
                  Zinfandel from California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                    13
                    11 99
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                  • Turley Zampatti Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                    Turley Zampatti Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $71.99
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                      71 99
                      71 99
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                    • Denner Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                      Denner Zinfandel 2012
                      Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                      • RP92
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $64.97
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                      64 97
                      64 97
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                    • Old Soul Vineyards Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                      Old Soul Vineyards Zinfandel 2012
                      Zinfandel from California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                        16 99
                        16 99
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                      • Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                        Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2012
                        Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
                        • W&S90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                      • Cameron Hughes Zin Your Face Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                        Cameron Hughes Zin Your Face Zinfandel 2012
                        Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          14 99
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                        • Trig Point Railyard Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
                          Trig Point Railyard Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
                          Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                            Currently Unavailable $15.98
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                            15 98
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