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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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  • Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
    • WS85
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  • Ravenswood Mendocino Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Ravenswood Mendocino Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS87
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  • Rabbit Ridge Sonoma Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS89
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  • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WE89
    • RP87
    • WS86
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  • Robert Mondavi Coastal Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from North Coast, California
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  • Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Haywood Los Chamizal Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
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  • Kenwood Nuns Canyon Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE86
    • WS85
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  • Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from California
    • WS87
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  • Rancho Zabaco Dry Creek Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Rancho Zabaco Dry Creek Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS87
    • RP87
    • WE87
    2.8 5 Ratings
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  • Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP89
    • WS88
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Napa-Sonoma Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from California
    • WS89
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    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS89
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  • Kenwood Mazonni Ranch Reserve Zinfindel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE88
    • WS87
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  • Kenwood Sonoma Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Kenwood Sonoma Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS86
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  • Cline Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from California
    • WE87
    • WS86
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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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  • Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
    • WS90
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  • Chateau Souverain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Chateau Souverain Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
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    Currently Unavailable $14.39
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    14 39
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  • Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WS89
    • W&S85
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    Currently Unavailable $11.99
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    19 79
    11 99
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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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    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    27 49
    24 99
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  • Rabbit Ridge Olsen Vineyard Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS88
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS88
    • RP88
    • W&S87
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    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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  • Beaulieu Vineyard Signet Collection Zinfandel 1999 Front Label
    Beaulieu Vineyard Signet Collection Zinfandel 1999
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WS88
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    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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