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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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  • Burgess Russian River Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
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  • Terra d'Oro Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Terra d'Oro Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
    • WE89
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  • Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Mead Ranch Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Mead Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from California
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  • St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP88
    • WE88
    • WS86
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  • Ballentine Napa Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Ballentine Napa Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WE90
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  • Kenwood Nuns Canyon Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE86
    • WS85
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  • Montevina Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
    • WE88
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  • Edmeades Mendocino Ridge Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Edmeades Mendocino Ridge Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from North Coast, California
    • WE90
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  • Rancho Zabaco Stefani Vineyard Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Rancho Zabaco Stefani Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
    • W&S91
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  • Ballentine BG Reserve Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Ballentine BG Reserve Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • RP90
    • WE90
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  • Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE86
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  • Simi Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Simi Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE87
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  • Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE86
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  • Kenwood Mazonni Ranch Reserve Zinfindel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE88
    • WS87
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  • Edmeades Zeni Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from North Coast, California
    • WE93
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  • Cline Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from California
    • WE87
    • WS86
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  • Gallo of Sonoma Barrelli Creek Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE88
    • RP87
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  • Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Monte Rosso Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Monte Rosso Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE88
    • WS85
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  • Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Fox Creek Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Villa Mt. Eden Grand Reserve Fox Creek Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
    • WE91
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    25 99
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  • DeLoach O.F.S. Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    DeLoach O.F.S. Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
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  • St. Francis Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    St. Francis Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
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  • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WE89
    • RP87
    • WS86
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  • Gallo of Sonoma Frei Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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  • Hanna Bismark Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
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  • DeLoach Papera Ranch Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    DeLoach Papera Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE88
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