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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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  • Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
    Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
    • TP91
    • WE90
    3.8 156 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Day Sonoma Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
    Day Sonoma Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • JD92
    4.0 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Williams Selyem Fanucchi-Wood Road Zinfandel 2017 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Fanucchi-Wood Road Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE95
    • RP92
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.99
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  • GEN5 Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
    GEN5 Zinfandel 2017
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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    • Hullabaloo Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Hullabaloo Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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      • Williams Selyem Saitone Estate Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
        Williams Selyem Saitone Estate Zinfandel 2017
        Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • RP93
        • WW93
        • W&S92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $129.99
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      • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
        Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2017
        Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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          Currently Unavailable $49.99
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        • 7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
          7 Deadly Zins Zinfandel 2017
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
          • TP91
          4.0 61 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          18 99
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        • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
          Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • WE91
          • WS90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $44.99
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          44 99
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        • Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
          Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
          • WE90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $38.99
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          38 99
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        • Terra d'Oro Deaver Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
          Terra d'Oro Deaver Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
          Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
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            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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          • Dashe Vineyard Select Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
            Dashe Vineyard Select Zinfandel 2017
            Zinfandel from California
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              Currently Unavailable $26.99
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              26 99
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            • Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
              Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2017
              Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
              • WS93
              • WE90
              4.6 5 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $53.99
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              53 99
              53 99
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            • Cline Big Break Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
              Cline Big Break Zinfandel 2017
              Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
              • WW91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $29.99
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              29 99
              29 99
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            • Acre Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
              Acre Zinfandel 2017
              Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
              • WE90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $29.99
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              29 99
              29 99
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