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Zinfandel

Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward...

Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

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 vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

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19 Items
  • Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
    • WE90
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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  • Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from California
    • WS93
    • RP90
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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  • Dashe Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
    • WS90
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    36 99
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  • Girard Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WS90
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  • Benovia Sonoma County Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Limerick Lane Russian River Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS92
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    42
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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S94
    • WW92
    • WE92
    • WS90
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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  • Carol Shelton Rocky Reserve Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Seghesio Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma County, California
    • WW94
    • RP92
    • WS91
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    48
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Quivira Black Boar Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    • RP90
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    45
    39 99
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  • Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    26
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  • Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old and Mature Vines Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
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    36 99
    36 99
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  • Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
    • WS90
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    24
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  • Novy Papera Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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  • Enkidu E Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    24 99
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  • Rosenblum Cellars Rockpile Road Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    • WS90
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    50
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  • Beran Sonoma County Zinfandel 2013
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    • WW90
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    35
    26 99
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  • Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old and Mature Vines Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
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    36
    33 99
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