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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 was born in Croatia and later 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.

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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  • Folie a Deux Amador County Zinfandel 1997 Front Label
    Folie a Deux Amador County Zinfandel 1997
    Zinfandel from California
    • WE87
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  • Easton Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel 1997 Front Label
    Easton Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel 1997
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
    • WE90
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  • Peachy Canyon Eastside Zinfandel 1997 Front Label
    Peachy Canyon Eastside Zinfandel 1997
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • WE85
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  • Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 1997 Front Label
    Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 1997
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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    14 49
    12 99
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  • Cline Big Break Zinfandel 1997 Front Label
    Cline Big Break Zinfandel 1997
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
    • WS90
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    28 99
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  • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 1997 Front Label
    Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 1997
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE89
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  • Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 1997 Front Label
    Cline Live Oak Zinfandel 1997
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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    Currently Unavailable $24.74
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    27 49
    24 74
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  • Ravenswood Napa Zinfandel 1997 Front Label
    Ravenswood Napa Zinfandel 1997
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WE89
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  • Peachy Canyon Lake View Vineyard Zinfandel 1997
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • RP88
    • WE85
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    Currently Unavailable $18.44
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