7 Zinfandel Wines That Will Blow Your Mind
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Zinfandel is a bold red wine that is jammy, packed with spice and a medium sweet flavor. Zinfandel grapes are often overlooked when compared to other red wine staples (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot), but are extremely popular in the United States both as White Zinfandel wine (zinfandel mixed with white wine) and Red Zinfandel wines.
Recently found to have originated in Croatia, it made its way to Italy where it became referred to as Primitivo. Eventually, it ended up in the United States where it became a very popular varietal. California is responsible for a majority of Zinfandel wine grapes across the United States, with vines thriving across Sonoma County, Paso Robles, Lodi, and parts of Napa Valley. Check out some of our most popular and highly ranked Zinfandel Wines below!
Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2018 - $27.99
Notes: The 2018 Zinfandel is one for the ages. Tremendous aromatic intensity, yes, but it is the cool, calm and polished flavors that excite. Fine young, but it is the aging potential of this wine that is truly special.
Acclaim: Close your eyes, smell this wine, and you might think you’ve moved from Rutherford to Morgon. This wine has the kind of youthful impact of a great cru Beaujolais, then it settles into the plump richness of Napa Valley zin. Its mineral-driven tannins ground all the bright and zesty fruit, holding it tight, suggesting this has years of development ahead. A zin to hold.
92/100 - Wine & Spirits
Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2017 - $9.75
Notes: Often characterized by spice, this wine is no exception. On the nose, juniper, black pepper and spicy nutmeg awaken the senses. Garnets glitter in the glass, while flavors of cranberries and raspberries glisten on the palate.
Acclaim: The 2017 Bogle Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel brings loads of fruit onto the palate before delivering a pleasing experience. TASTING NOTES: This wine exhibits berries, berries, and berries in its aromas and flavors. Enjoy it with grilled cheeseburgers. 88/100 - Wilfred Wong
Notes: Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel is made using grapes sourced from gnarled 35-80 year old head trained vines. As some of the oldest vines in California, the fruit produced is exceptional, intense and full-flavored. This intrepid Old Vine Zinfandel has a gnarly core of rich, jammy blackberries and mocha flavors with layers of spice and vanilla balanced by complex French and American oak toast.
Acclaim: Big, bold and spicy, this full-bodied wine boasts beef, black pepper and grilled plum flavors that are wrapped in moderate tannins for good grip. Best Buy. 89/100 - Wine Enthusiast
Notes: Nuanced aromas of sun-baked raspberry, crushed blueberry, freshly-turned earth and hints of nutmeg swirl in the glass, segueing to a palate of jammy blackberries, clove and caramel. This blend showcases Zinfandel’s warm, luscious character, accentuated by time spent in our charred bourbon barrels, which lent a graceful, smoky finish.
Acclaim: The 1000 Stories Zinfandel is a story of how it was, and how it is today. The wines deftly combine American and French oak with "California's Grape." The 2017 vintage is sumptuous and perfect with homegrown, American cuisine.
Aromas and flavors that are distinctly California together. Pair its ripe berries and smoky oak with a backyard barbecue of chicken, pork, or beef.
92/100 - Wilfred Wong
Notes: With a bouquet of cedar, spice, and sun-ripened blackberries, our Sonoma Zinfandel makes a strong first impression. Bold and richly textured on the palate with an intensity and purity of fruit reflected in notes of wild blueberries, plum, and black currants. A light dusting of tannins provides structure and a long finish that is boueyed by fresh juicy acidity.
Acclaim: Generous, with fresh fruit, accented by cherry jam, dried sage and white pepper flavors, lingering on a sleek finish. Drink now through 2027. 90/100 - Wine Spectator
Notes: From its lovely dark violet color to its luscious fruit aromas, this wine captures the alluring essence of Sonoma County Zinfandel On the palate, layers of fresh raspberry, blackberry, and cranberry are underscored by an elegant structure that includes supple, refined tannins, balanced acidity and notes of French vanilla and toasty oak.
Acclaim: Duckhorn created its Decoy line in 2008 as a means of providing the high-quality wine for which it’s known at a more affordable price point. Made with Dry Creek Valley estate grapes, this Sonoma-based Zin offers soft, ripe red fruits (namely strawberry and raspberry) accented with spicy vanilla-cola notes.
It’s a juicier-style Zinfandel that doesn’t beat you over the head with jammy richness and texture (perhaps the 17% Petite Sirah makes it seem a bit drier). Per usual, Duckhorn relies on a label depicting its signature fowl to fly above the competition. 90/100 - Tasting Panel
Notes: Dark ruby color with bold aromas of black licorice, black pepper, cherry, and baking spice. The entry is rich, full, and scintillating. The palate is mouthwatering and smooth with a hint of chocolate. The finish is voluptuous with soft, velvety tannins.
Acclaim: The 2018 Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel is robust, extracted, and long-lasting. TASTING NOTES: This wine plays up bold berries and wood nuances in its aromas and flavors. Pair it with barbecued skewered pork. 92/100 - Wilfred Wong