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Zinfandel

Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward...

Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

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 vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

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  • Rombauer California Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from California
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    • Four Vines Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
      Zinfandel from Lodi, California
      • WE91
      • WW90
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    • Seghesio Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2012
      Zinfandel from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma County, California
      • WW94
      • RP92
      • WS91
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2015
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
      • WS90
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    • Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
      Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • RP95
      Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    • Inglenook Edizione Pennino Zinfandel 2014
      Zinfandel from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
        Currently Unavailable $47.99
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      • Louis Martini Monte Rosso Gnarly Vine Zinfandel 2014
        Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • RP95
        • TP93
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      • Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from California
        • WS93
        • RP90
        Currently Unavailable $24.99
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      • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2013
        Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
        • W&S94
        • WW90
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      • Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2013
        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • RP94
        • WS94
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      • Joseph Jewell Grist Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
        Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • W&S95
        Currently Unavailable $33.99
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      • The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from California
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        • Lake Sonoma Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2013
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • TP93
          • WW92
          Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2015
          Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          • WS92
          • WW90
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        • Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2013
          Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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          • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2013
            Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • W&S94
            Currently Unavailable $28.99
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          • Concrete Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
            Zinfandel from Lodi, California
            • TP93
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          • Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012
            Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
            • WS93
            • RP92
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          • Terra d'Oro Home Vineyard Zinfandel 2014
            Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
            • WE92
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          • Terra d'Oro Zinfandel 2014
            Zinfandel from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
            • WE90
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          • Joullian Sias Cuvee Zinfandel 2013
            Zinfandel from Carmel Valley, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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            • OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
              Zinfandel from Lodi, California
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              • Mazzocco Dry Creek Zinfandel 2013
                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                  Currently Unavailable $26.99
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                • San Lorenzo Rock Garden Zinfandel 2014
                  Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • WS94
                  • WW92
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                • Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
                  Zinfandel from Lodi, California
                  • WE90
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