Zinfandel

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.

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96
points

Hartford 2007 Highwire Vineyard Zinfandel (Russian River Valley)

  1. $55
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…  — S.H.  (8/1/2009)
96
points

Seven Lions Winery 2000 Three Amigos Vineyards Zinfandel (Sonoma County)

  1. $38
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.  — S.H.  (9/1/2002)
95
points

Dry Creek Vineyard 2007 Beeson Ranch Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $34
The vineyard is on winding, picturesque West Dry Creek Road, and is comprised of very old vines. In the wrong hands these low-yielding grapes might have been mishandled, but Dry Creek Vineyard knows Zinfandel. The result is superb, spectacular, the essence of old vine Sonoma. Rich, dry and pure, it’s enormously complex in briary, peppery wild berries, with a…  — S.H.  (2/1/2011)
95
points

Williams Selyem 2011 Papera Vineyard Zinfandel (Russian River Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $52
This is huge in fruit, like Godzilla trampling skyscrapers underfoot. Yet it’s so exquisitely balanced in all its parts, it possesses a Zen-like stillness at the center of all these massive, swirling elements. This is easily Williams Selyem’s best Papera Zin yet. So rich in black raspberry jam, red currant, mocha, pepper and sweet sandalwood flavors, yet so focused…  — S.H.  (8/1/2013)
95
points

Seghesio 2009 Cortina Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)

  1. $38
A joy to drink. It’s so ripely exuberant in fruit, explosive in wild berry, dried red currant, licorice, cocoa and dusty spice flavors that sink deep into the palate and last forever on the finish. Yet it’s dry, and the structure is entirely elegant. The two vineyards that are source to this wine are old and dry-farmed. A very great Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, a…  — S.H.  (3/1/2012)
95
points

De Loach 2007 O.F.S. Zinfandel (Russian River Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $30
This is De Loach’s finest Zinfandel of their five new releases. In fact, it’s their best Zinfandel ever, and one that defines Sonoma County cool-climate Zinfandel. It’s brilliant in balance and structure, with beautifully sculpted tannins and fine acidity, and just the right touch of oak. Within that package are savory flavors of wild blackberries, picked at their…  — S.H.  (7/1/2010)
95
points

Deerfield 2006 Buchignani-Garcia Vineyard Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $60
If you had to choose one Zinfandel to showcase Dry Creek Valley, it’s this one. The vines are said to be over 100 years of age. Just superb. Has the balance and depth of a fine Cabernet Sauvignon, but with Zin’s spicy, briary, brambly personality. Erupts in wild berry, currant, cola, leather, mocha and peppery spice flavors that are so rich and deep and…  — S.H.  (7/1/2010)
95
points

Zichichi Family Vineyard 2007 Old Vine Estate Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $36
An impressive Zinfandel, notable for its complexity and charm. Exudes quintessential Zin character, with a mouthburst of red currants, black raspberry pie filling, wild cherries, sweet charred oak and masses of freshly crushed black pepper. There’s even a chocolaty richness in the finish. Production of 921 cases is decent in the old-vine Zin category.  — S.H.  (5/1/2010)
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