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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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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
    Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2020
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      4.3 23 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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      26
      21 99
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    • Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
      Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
        4.1 14 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $9.99
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        9 99
        9 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
        4.0 195 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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        26
        21 99
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      • Martinelli Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
        Martinelli Vigneto di Evo Zinfandel 2019
        Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          4.2 10 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $37.99
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          37 99
          37 99
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        • Opaque Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
          Opaque Zinfandel 2017
          Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
          • WE91
          4.1 55 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $28.99
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          40
          28 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
          • JD92
          • WW90
          4.0 21 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $52.99
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          52 99
          52 99
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        • Rombauer California Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
          Rombauer California Zinfandel 2019
          Zinfandel from California
          • WE91
          • WW90
          • JD90
          4.5 96 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $38.99
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          38 99
          38 99
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        • The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel  Front Label
          The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel
          Zinfandel from California
            4.3 98 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $34.99
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            34 99
            34 99
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          • St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
            St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 2019
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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            19 99
            19 99
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          • Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
            Storybook Mountain Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2018
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
            • CG93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $74.99
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            74 99
            74 99
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          • Robert Biale Vineyards R.W. Moore Vineyard Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
            Robert Biale Vineyards R.W. Moore Vineyard Zinfandel 2019
            Zinfandel from Coombsville, Napa Valley, California
            • WE92
            • JS92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $74.99
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            74 99
            74 99
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          • Frank Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
            Frank Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2018
            Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
            • TP92
            • RP90
            4.0 27 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $37.99
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            37 99
            37 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
            • WW91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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            49 99
            49 99
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          • Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
            Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2019
            Zinfandel from California
            • WE91
            4.0 76 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $10.99
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            10 99
            10 99
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          • Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
            Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2020
            Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
            • WW93
            • WS91
            4.4 13 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $38.99
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            38 99
            38 99
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          • Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
            Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2020
            Zinfandel from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
              3.9 7 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $15.99
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              15 99
              15 99
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            • Cline Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
              Cline Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2020
              Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                4.2 6 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                11 99
                11 99
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              • Alexander Valley Vineyards Redemption Zin 2017  Front Label
                Alexander Valley Vineyards Redemption Zin 2017
                Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
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                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  22
                  19 99
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                • Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
                  Predator Old Vine Zinfandel 2020
                  Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                    4.0 33 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                    16 99
                    16 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
                    3.8 240 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                    25
                    19 99
                    Save $5.01 (20%)
                  • Three Wine Company Red Label Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                    Three Wine Company Red Label Zinfandel 2019
                    Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
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                      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                      19 99
                      19 99
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                    • Four Vines The Biker Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                      Four Vines The Biker Zinfandel 2019
                      Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
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                        Currently Unavailable $20.99
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                        20 99
                        20 99
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                      • Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2020  Front Label
                        Oakville Winery Estate Zinfandel 2020
                        Zinfandel from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Regular price
                          Currently Unavailable $30.99
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                          30 99
                          30 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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                          • Boneshaker Old Vine Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
                            Boneshaker Old Vine Zinfandel 2019
                            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                              4.1 47 Ratings
                              Regular price
                              Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                              17 99
                              17 99
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