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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 Juvenile Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from California
    • WS91
    • RP90
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  • Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Hartford Russian River Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • WS90
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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
    4.0 6 Ratings
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  • Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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  • Seghesio Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW94
    • RP92
    • WS91
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  • Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Lodi, California
    • WS91
    • RP90
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  • Jeff Cohn Cellars Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Jeff Cohn Cellars Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • CG94
    • WS90
    4.2 5 Ratings
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  • Lagier Meredith Tribidrag Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Lagier Meredith Tribidrag Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • WS90
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  • Miraflores El Dorado Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Miraflores El Dorado Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
    • WS93
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  • Benovia Sonoma County Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Benovia Sonoma County Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
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  • Robert Biale Vineyards Founding Farmers Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Robert Biale Vineyards Founding Farmers Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WS90
    • WW90
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  • Armida Maple Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Armida Maple Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
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  • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
    • RP92
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  • Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Scherrer Winery Scherrer Vineyard Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
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  • Williams Selyem Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS94
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • CG92
    • WW91
    • D91
    • WS90
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  • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • CG91
    • WS90
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  • Quivira Reserve Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Quivira Reserve Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
    • WE91
    • WS90
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  • Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    • WS91
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  • Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Mauritson Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
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  • Limerick Lane Russian River Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Limerick Lane Russian River Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS94
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  • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from California
    • RP91
    • WS91
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  • Michael David Winery Gluttony Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Michael David Winery Gluttony Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
    • WS92
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  • Turley Bedrock Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Turley Bedrock Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS92
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  • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2012 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2012
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S94
    • WS90
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    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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