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Zinfandel Wine

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. Small quantities of Zinfandel grapes grow in countries as disparate as Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Washington and Oregon produce Zinfandel grapes as well. In Croatia, production increased dramatically in 2001 once the news hit of the connection with Zinfandel grapes and Primitivo. From an early discovery of 22 vines, there are now more than 200,000. In Puglia about 10,000 acres exist. In California, Zinfandel is the second most-planted red grape, after Cabernet Sauvignon, with more than 50,000 acres, and it has been around since the 1850’s at least.

Zinfandel History

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 quality 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. California versions often show blueberry, raspberry, boysenberry, and peach yogurt flavors. Pepper, spice and a brambly character commonly make an appearance as well.

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 Caesar 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. Old to very old Zinfandel grape vines are prized, even though they produce smaller amounts of fruit. The wines made from such gnarly old stumps are avidly sought after. Whatever you call it, Zinfandel is a wine worth exploring.

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43 Items
  • Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • TP93
    • WW92
    4.0 52 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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  • Renwood Premier Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Renwood Premier Old Vine Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • WW89
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    19 99
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  • Dashe Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Dashe Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    • WW91
    4.1 6 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Klinker Brick Marisa Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Klinker Brick Marisa Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW93
    • WE92
    4.4 6 Ratings
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    31 99
    31 99
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  • LangeTwins Estate Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    LangeTwins Estate Old Vine Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW90
    3.8 35 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    14 99
    14 99
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  • Rock Wall Jesse's Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Rock Wall Jesse's Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
    • WW92
    3.7 6 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    30
    24 99
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  • Beran Sonoma County Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Beran Sonoma County Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    • WW90
    4.1 31 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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  • Davis Family Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Davis Family Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Romililly Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Romililly Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    54 99
    54 99
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  • Robert Craig Cellars Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Robert Craig Cellars Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • WW94
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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    79 99
    79 99
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  • Shannon Reserve Two Bud Block Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Shannon Reserve Two Bud Block Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from High Valley, Lake County, North Coast, California
    • WE92
    • WW90
    4.4 7 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    38
    23 99
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  • Haraszthy Family Cellars Amador County Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Haraszthy Family Cellars Amador County Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • DeLoach Russian River Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    DeLoach Russian River Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WW89
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $17.98
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    20
    17 98
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  • Elyse Korte Ranch Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Elyse Korte Ranch Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    • WE90
    4.4 5 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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    37 99
    37 99
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  • Red Truck Winery Green Truck Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Red Truck Winery Green Truck Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
    • WW90
    3.8 10 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    18
    13 99
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  • Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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    27 99
    27 99
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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW91
    • WS90
    4.0 16 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    20
    17 99
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  • Sky Mt. Veeder Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Sky Mt. Veeder Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel 2013  Front Label
    Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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    40
    37 99
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  • Rombauer California Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Rombauer California Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from California
    • WW90
    4.5 28 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    33 99
    33 99
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  • Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    3.8 50 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
    17 99
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  • Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW94
    3.7 49 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S94
    • WW90
    4.1 13 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    41 99
    41 99
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  • Caricature Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Caricature Old Vine Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WW89
    3.9 10 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    16 99
    16 99
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  • Elyse Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013  Front Label
    Elyse Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    40
    34 99
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