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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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  • Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
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  • Chase Family Hayne Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Chase Family Hayne Vineyard Estate Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • WE90
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    45
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  • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    • WS92
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  • Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
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  • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG93
    • WE90
    4.6 5 Ratings
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  • Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
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  • Ridge Ponzo Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Ridge Ponzo Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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  • Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • CG92
    • WE90
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  • Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
    3.8 8 Ratings
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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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  • Clif Family Winery Gary's Improv Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Clif Family Winery Gary's Improv Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
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  • Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard South Knoll Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Forchini Vineyard South Knoll Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
    • W&S90
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  • Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
    3.6 9 Ratings
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  • Sebastiani Sonoma County Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Sebastiani Sonoma County Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE87
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  • Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from California
    • WE92
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  • Sextant Wheelhouse Paso Robles Zinfandel 2009 Front Label
    Sextant Wheelhouse Paso Robles Zinfandel 2009
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE88
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