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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 2012 Front Label
    Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
    • WW90
    4.1 34 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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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
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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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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    48
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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
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    50
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  • Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    • TP90
    3.8 12 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    24 99
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  • Robert Biale Vineyards Founding Farmers Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Robert Biale Vineyards Founding Farmers Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WS90
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    44 99
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  • Carol Shelton Karma Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Carol Shelton Karma Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    29 99
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  • Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    • TP90
    3.8 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 99
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  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
    • WE91
    • WW91
    3.7 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    14 99
    14 99
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  • Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
    • WW90
    3.8 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    21 99
    21 99
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  • Michael David Winery Lust Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Michael David Winery Lust Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW94
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $61.99
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    61 99
    61 99
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  • Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    19 99
    19 99
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  • Carol Shelton Wild Thing Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Carol Shelton Wild Thing Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from California
    • WE92
    • WW90
    3.4 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    20 99
    20 99
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  • Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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    35 99
    35 99
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  • DAOU Vineyards Reserve Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    DAOU Vineyards Reserve Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WW92
    • WE90
    • CG90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    56
    44 99
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  • Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    38 99
    38 99
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  • Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    • W&S91
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 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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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    • WE91
    • RP90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
    • WW91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    44 99
    44 99
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  • Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    • WS91
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
    28 99
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  • Beran Napa Valley Zinfandel 2012  Front Label
    Beran Napa Valley Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WW91
    3.9 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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    48
    37 99
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG92
    • D91
    • WW91
    • WS90
    3.9 47 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    24
    19 99
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  • Beran California Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Beran California Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW90
    3.6 9 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    25
    19 99
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