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California Zinfandel

One of California’s most distinct red wines with deep fruit, licorice, black pepper, and tobacco.

California Zinfandel has become one of the region’s wine-world calling cards with its bold, jammy, red and black fruit, layers of licorice, black pepper, and spice plus vanilla, mocha, and tobacco from oak. This big red explodes on your tastebuds in styles ranging from easy drinking to wines to savor – all sumptuous in their own ways! 

Zinfandel is the same grape as Primitivo which thrives in southern Italy and makes wines as bold (although not quite as fruity) as its Californian cousin. This grape arrived in the Golden State in the 1800s where it experienced its share of ups and downs. Zinfandel gradually started to impress wine lovers and critics alike in the late 20th century thanks to the efforts of visionary California winemakers. Unusually, Zinfandel’s grapes ripen unevenly so there can be both super-sweet, raisin-like, and sour under-ripe fruit in one cluster. Inventive winemakers have learned to use this feature to their advantage with raisined fruit adding concentration and under-ripe grapes contributing herbaceous notes. Zinfandel grows across California, producing powerful wines of varying quality and complexity but all-around drinkability. Look out for Lodi – it has some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the region.

Fun Fact: Red Zinfandel is an interesting, well-made wine that bears no resemblance to the sweet, “cheap and cheerful” White Zinfandel.

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