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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 Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW93
    4.4 35 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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  • Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Martinelli Giuseppe and Luisa Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
    • V95
    3.5 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
    • WW90
    • WE90
    3.9 133 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    25
    17 99
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  • Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
      3.8 26 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      23
      13 99
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    • Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from North Coast, California
        4.0 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      • Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
        Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019
        Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
        • JS94
        • WS93
        • WW92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $37.99
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        37 99
        37 99
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      • The Federalist Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
        The Federalist Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019
        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $24.99
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        • Camp Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
          Camp Zinfandel 2019
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          • Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
            Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2019
            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $35.99
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              35 99
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            • Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
              Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
              Zinfandel from California
                4.4 6 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                29 99
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              • Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
                Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $38.99
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                • Josh Cellars Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                  Josh Cellars Zinfandel 2019
                  Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                    15 99
                    15 99
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                  • County Line Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                    County Line Zinfandel 2019
                    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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                      29 99
                      29 99
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                    • Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                      Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2019
                      Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                      • JS94
                      • WW92
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $35.99
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                      35 99
                      35 99
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                    • Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                      Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2019
                      Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                        49 99
                        49 99
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                      • DeLoach Heritage Reserve Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                        DeLoach Heritage Reserve Zinfandel 2019
                        Zinfandel from California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                          12 99
                          12 99
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