Zinfandel is a popular grape in California, although it appears to have originated in Croatia, where it is known as Crljenak Kastelanski, and southern Italy, where it is known as Primitivo. Zinfandel produces powerful, spicy reds with forward raspberry and pepper notes. It can also be used to produce a semisweet rosé (blush) wine called White Zinfandel. You can use Wine Enthusiast’s online Buying Guide to find the top-rated Zinfandel among our extensive Zinfandel wine reviews and easy-to-use database. Our Zinfandel reviews will give you a general idea what to expect from wines made from Zinfandel, and will help you find one that best suits your needs.
A complex, amazing wine that is one of the best Zins of the vintage. The perfume is extraordinarily detailed, suggesting black raspberry preserves, white chocolate, black pepper, tobacco, vanilla and smoke. All these flavors commingle in the mouth. Drinks dry, with dusty tannins. This is a brilliant wine, with a sensationally rich, vital finish. —S.H.
The vineyard is in Fulton, a cool part of the southeastern valley heavily influenced by fog, and the vines are about 100 years old. This is great, classic Zinfandel. It should be in a museum. Despite high alcohol, it has a silky, Pinot-esque suppleness, balanced with crisp acids, and is profoundly rich in Zinny flavor. Currants, mushu plum sauce, anise, crushed…
A touch of Viognier ignites a pretty, seductive nose with spicy fruit and cocoa, as well as raspberry and mineral notes. As it unfolds the wine displays enormous complexity, with tart currant and cranberry fruit leading into a tight, sharp, brightly etched finish. It’s one of the rare Zins that can stake a legitimate claim to tasting of terroir.
Black as ink, with glints of royal purple and gold, it opens with intense, penetrating aromas of dark chocolate, blackberry preserves and cassis, caramel, and a smoky, peppery note. Decadently rich, with 10% residual sugar, and heady, with 19% alcohol, but so delicious. The silky, velvety texture is pure seduction. This has got to be one of the best California…
Shows a dramatic interpretation of Dry Creek terroir, with intense wild berry, mocha and spice flavors that are so ripe, they veer into currants and grilled blackberries. Entirely dry, the wine is marked by rich, complex tannins. Superb, a great wine, as good as Zinfandel gets. Drink now through 2012.
This is great Zinfandel. The vineyard was planted in 1915 and probably contains other varieties than Zinfandel. Yields are extraordinarily low, as they are in these coastal ancient vineyards. The wine’s concentration is impressive, spanning ripe, crushed raspberries through cherry pie filling to black currants, with all sorts of earthy, minerally, balsam and cedar…
A tremendous Zinfandel, Ravenswood’s most expensive, and while you might quiver at the price, it’s easily a very great wine. This is Zinfandel on steroids, a monster of wild summer berry, tobacco, currant and spice flavors, wrapped into significantly thick tannins. Yet despite the power, it never quite loses elegance and balance. The winery’s 2007 was their…
You can quibble with the price, but there’s no doubt about the quality of this Zin. It’s extraordinarily deeply flavored, offering waves of wild cherries, cola, anise, molé sauce, pepper spice and sandalwood, wrapped into profoundly fine tannins, and with a long, dry finish. Drink this near-perfect Zinfandel over the next six years.