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Zinfandel Wine

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. Small quantities of Zinfandel grapes grow in countries as disparate as Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Washington and Oregon produce Zinfandel grapes as well. In Croatia, production increased dramatically in 2001 once the news hit of the connection with Zinfandel grapes and Primitivo. From an early discovery of 22 vines, there are now more than 200,000. In Puglia about 10,000 acres exist. In California, Zinfandel is the second most-planted red grape, after Cabernet Sauvignon, with more than 50,000 acres, and it has been around since the 1850’s at least.

Zinfandel History

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 quality 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. California versions often show blueberry, raspberry, boysenberry, and peach yogurt flavors. Pepper, spice and a brambly character commonly make an appearance as well.

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 Caesar 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. Old to very old Zinfandel grape vines are prized, even though they produce smaller amounts of fruit. The wines made from such gnarly old stumps are avidly sought after. Whatever you call it, Zinfandel is a wine worth exploring.

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  • Four Vines Biker Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
    Four Vines Biker Paso Robles Zinfandel 2019
    Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      4.8 8 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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      18 99
      18 99
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    • Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
      Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2018
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • RP93
      • JS90
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $47.99
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      47 99
      47 99
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    • Scott Harvey Mountain Selection Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Scott Harvey Mountain Selection Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
      • WE93
      • WW90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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      29
      23 99
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    • Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
      Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2016
      Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • RP93
      • JD91
      4.1 7 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $50.99
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      50 99
      50 99
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    • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
      • WW90
      • WE90
      3.8 229 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      25
      19 99
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    • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • JD92
      • WE92
      • WW91
      • WS91
      4.0 160 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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      26
      21 99
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    • Carnivor Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
      Carnivor Zinfandel 2019
      Zinfandel from California
        4.0 10 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        12 99
        12 99
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      • Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
        Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2020
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $54.99
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          54 99
          54 99
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        • Parducci Small Lot Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
          Parducci Small Lot Zinfandel 2020
          Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
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            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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            13 99
            13 99
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          • The Federalist Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
            The Federalist Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel 2017
            Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
              4.2 14 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $21.99
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              21 99
              21 99
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            • BACA Cat's Cradle Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
              BACA Cat's Cradle Zinfandel 2018
              Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
              • JD93
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $49.99
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              49 99
              49 99
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            • Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
              Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2020
              Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                4.0 28 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                14 99
                14 99
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              • Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel 2019
                Zinfandel from Lake County, North Coast, California
                  3.4 5 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $31.99
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                  31 99
                  31 99
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                • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
                  Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2020
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                    26
                    21 99
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                  • Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2016  Front Label
                    Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2016
                    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                    • WW89
                    3.8 8 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                    21 99
                    21 99
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                  • Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
                    Zinfandelic Sierra Foothills Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
                    Zinfandel from Sierra Foothills, California
                    • TP91
                    • WE90
                    3.7 275 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                    19 99
                    19 99
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                  • Buehler Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                    Buehler Zinfandel 2019
                    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Regular price
                      Currently Unavailable $26.99
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                      30
                      26 99
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                    • Boneshaker Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                      Boneshaker Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
                      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                        4.1 43 Ratings
                        Regular price
                        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                        17 99
                        17 99
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                      • Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
                        Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel 2020
                        Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $125.99
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                          125 99
                          125 99
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                        • Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                          Klinker Brick Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
                          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
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                            Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                            39 99
                            39 99
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                          • Hendry Block 7 and 22 Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
                            Hendry Block 7 and 22 Zinfandel 2017
                            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
                            • W&S95
                            0.0 0 Ratings
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                            Currently Unavailable $43.99
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                            43 99
                            43 99
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                          • Rombauer El Dorado Twin Rivers Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                            Rombauer El Dorado Twin Rivers Zinfandel 2019
                            Zinfandel from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
                            • WS92
                            • WW90
                            4.3 18 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $52.99
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                            52 99
                            52 99
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                          • Radio-Coteau Lemorel Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
                            Radio-Coteau Lemorel Zinfandel 2018
                            Zinfandel from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                            • V94
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $79.99
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                            79 99
                            79 99
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                          • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                            Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2019
                            Zinfandel from California
                            • WE91
                            4.2 35 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                            9 99
                            9 99
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                          • Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
                            Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2020
                            Zinfandel from North Coast, California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Regular price
                              Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                              14 99
                              14 99
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