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Our Favorite Zinfandels

Zinfandel is one of the most popular wine grapes grown in California and is especially popular in northern California and the central coast. The vines like warm, sunny days but dislike intense heat, and the thin skinned-fruit is susceptible to rot. Good draining is key, making them good for planting on slopes. Zinfandel is typically grown in the summer and harvested as early as mid-August or well into fall, often called a "late harvest" Zinfandel.
 
Old vine zinfandels are red wines made from grapevines over 50 years old. These are prized for their intense color and balanced flavors and often fetch a high price. Old vines grapes are almost exclusively used to make red zinfandel.

The grape is also known as Crljenak Kastelanski in its native Croatia and as primitivo in southern Italy.

Zinfandel is known for its rich, dark purple skin, medium to high tannin levels, high alcohol content, and medium acidity. While the red wine tends to be medium-bodied and medium dry, it is bursting with flavors and aromas of jam, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, plums, cinnamon, black pepper, and licorice all wrapped around various intensities of oak.

Zinfandel Food Pairing:

Think curry spice or BBQ. Since Zinfandel leans on the sweeter side of red wine, it’s a great pairing partner with spiced barbecue dishes and curry. Zinfandel pairs well with Moroccan and Turkish spices that embellish the wine’s cinnamon-spice subtleties. The hearty, bold flavors in Zinfandel make it a natural companion for the rich and flavorful world of BBQ. Try ribs, grilled chicken, roast lamb, pulled pork, pork chops, blackened salmon, bacon-wrapped tenderloin, game meats, and burgers.

Zinfandel Regions:

Certain California regions are regarded as "exceptional" for Zinfandel, each with identifiable flavor characteristics:

Sonoma county has a Zinfandel-producing land area second only to that of San Joaquin County. The county contains the warm Dry Creek Valley AVA, known for its juicy Zinfandel with bright fruit, balanced acidity and notes of blackberry, anise and pepper. Dry Creek Valley produces Zinfandel in a variety of styles ranging from the high-alcohol Amador style to balanced, spicy wines. 2016 Hartford - Zinfandel Sonoma Dina′s Vineyard, 2016 Day - Zinfandel Dry Creek Grist Vineyard

San Luis Obispo, particularly the Paso Robles AVA with its hot days and cool maritime evenings, produces Zinfandel known for being soft and round. 2017 Linne Calodo - Zinfandel Paso Robles Problem Child

While the Napa Valley AVA is known primarily for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, Napa also produces Zinfandel wines described as plummy and intense, tasting of red berry fruits with cedar and vanilla. Zinfandel in Napa tends to be made in a claret style like red Bordeaux. 2017 Fontanella Family - Zinfandel Napa

The Russian River Valley generally produces well during warm vintages. Otherwise, the grapes do not fully ripen, leaving the wines with excessive acidity. The area has mostly "old vine" Zinfandel, characterized as spicy and somewhat lower in alcohol than Zinfandel from other regions.

Lodi has some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in California. While often used for White Zinfandel production, in the red style, Lodi Zinfandels have a reputation for being juicy and approachable. 2017 Rubus Zinfandel Old Vines Lodi



2016 Day - Zinfandel Dry Creek Grist Vineyard
750ml | SKU 75601 
VM
90
The 2016 Zinfandel Grist shows the more exuberant side of Zinfandel off to great effect.
2017 Fontanella Family - Zinfandel Napa
750ml | SKU 82725 
90
A beautifully balanced and classic 'old vine' Zinfandel from Napa.
2016 Hartford - Zinfandel Sonoma Dina's
750ml | SKU 82343 
WA
96
JD
97
The 2016 Zinfandel Dina's Vineyard is drop dead gorgeous...one of the top Zinfandels in the vintage!
2017 Linne Calodo - Zinfandel Paso Robles Problem Child
750ml | SKU 78128 
VM
96
Ripe, full-bodied, and incredibly polished, it has sweet tannins, no hard edges, lots of richness and depth, and a great finish.
2016 Radio Coteau - Zinfandel Sonoma Coast Lemorel Vineyrd
750ml | SKU 83778 
VM
94
All of the elements simply come together in an effortless, compelling wine from Radio-Coteau's Estate vineyard.
2012 Robert Biale - Zinfandel Sonoma Rocky Ridge
750ml | SKU 64861 
WE
93
The wine is magnificently structured with complex, ripe blackberry and cherry compote coming to the fore slowly and seductively
2012 Robert Biale - Zinfandel Sonoma Pagani Ranch
750ml | SKU 64862 
WE
92
An iconic Zinfandel from one of the oldest vineyards in California
2013 Robert Biale - Zinfandel Napa Varozza Vineyard
750ml | SKU 64863 
91
Now with 7 years of age, this wine is drinking - a real treat !
2018 Turley - Zinfandel Duarte
750ml | SKU 83324 
VM
92-94
Turley's 2018 Zinfandel Duarte is soft, fruity and absolutely delicious.
2018 Turley - Zinfandel Dusi
750ml | SKU 83325 
VM
92-94
The 2018 Zinfandel Dusi Vineyard is laced with tons of rich, exuberant fruit, but is also impeccably balanced.