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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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  • The Federalist Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
    The Federalist Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel 2016
    Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
      4.4 62 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    • Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
      Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
      • WW89
      4.0 52 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      20
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    • Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
      Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      • WE90
      4.0 135 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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      20
      18 99
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    • Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
      Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
      • WS94
      • JD94
      4.5 59 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $53.99
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    • Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
      Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        4.6 30 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $41.99
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      • Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
        Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • WE93
        • JD93
        • WS92
        • W&S92
        • RP92
        • D90
        4.5 15 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $44.99
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      • The Great American Wine Company by Rosenblum Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
        The Great American Wine Company by Rosenblum Zinfandel 2016
        Zinfandel from California
          3.0 5 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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          16
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        • Ravenswood Sonoma Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
          Ravenswood Sonoma Zinfandel 2016
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            4.0 9 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $20.99
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          • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
            Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • RP93
            • WS92
            • JD92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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            60
            49 99
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          • Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
            Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2016
            Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
              4.1 15 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $21.99
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            • Ironstone Reserve Old Vine Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
              Ironstone Reserve Old Vine Zinfandel 2016
              Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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                Currently Unavailable $25.99
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              • Clos du Bois Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
                Clos du Bois Zinfandel 2016
                Zinfandel from California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
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                  12 99
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                • Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
                  Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2016
                  Zinfandel from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                  • Novy Russian River Zinfandel 2016 Front Label
                    Novy Russian River Zinfandel 2016
                    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                    • WS91
                    • RP90
                    3.8 13 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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                    35 99
                    35 99
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