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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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  • Radio-Coteau Lemorel Zinfandel 2013  Front Label
    Radio-Coteau Lemorel Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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  • Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    • WE90
    3.6 10 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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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
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • Green & Red Tip Top Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Green & Red Tip Top Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S94
    3.7 11 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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    31 99
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  • Joseph Jewell Grist Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Joseph Jewell Grist Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S95
    3.3 5 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    39
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  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2013 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S94
    • WW90
    4.0 5 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    22 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
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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  • Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS93
    • WS90
    • W&S90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $56.99
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    56 99
    56 99
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  • Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S92
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $56.99
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    60
    56 99
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  • Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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    59 99
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  • Green & Red Chiles Canyon Vineyards Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Green & Red Chiles Canyon Vineyards Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S92
    3.5 6 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    23 99
    23 99
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  • The Federalist Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    The Federalist Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
    • W&S90
    3.5 16 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    19 99
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  • Hendry Block 28 Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Hendry Block 28 Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    33 99
    33 99
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  • Alexander Valley Vineyards Temptation Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Alexander Valley Vineyards Temptation Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • W&S89
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    13 99
    13 99
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  • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2013 Front Label
    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S94
    3.9 37 Ratings
    Price per bottle
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    37
    28 99
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