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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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  • Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • WS93
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  • Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from California
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  • Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Turley Dusi Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
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  • Carol Shelton Rocky Reserve Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Carol Shelton Rocky Reserve Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
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    • CG90
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  • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2010
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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  • Four Vines The Sophisticate Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Four Vines The Sophisticate Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    3.6 18 Ratings
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  • Four Vines Biker Paso Robles Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Four Vines Biker Paso Robles Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WS90
    3.1 7 Ratings
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  • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from California
    • WS87
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  • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG96
    • WE92
    • W&S90
    • WS90
    4.7 10 Ratings
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  • St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS89
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  • Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS89
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  • Four Vines The Maverick Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Four Vines The Maverick Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    • WS89
    3.8 5 Ratings
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  • Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • W&S93
    • WS92
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  • Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
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  • Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG95
    • WS94
    • WE93
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  • Artezin Mendocino Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Artezin Mendocino Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from North Coast, California
    • WS90
    3.0 8 Ratings
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  • Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
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  • Outpost Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Outpost Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • RP92
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
    • WS90
    4.0 40 Ratings
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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    3.8 6 Ratings
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  • Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Turley Cedarman Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
    • WS92
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  • Sextant Wheelhouse Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Sextant Wheelhouse Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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  • Turley Hayne Zinfandel 2010 Front Label
    Turley Hayne Zinfandel 2010
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
    • WS91
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