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No Girls Night Is Complete Without The Best Zinfandels

  1. Turley Old Vines Zinfandel
  2. Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel
  3. Fiddletown Old Vine Zinfandel
  4. Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel

A Croatian grape that's been cultivated for hundreds, if not thousands of years, nobody's certain where Zinfandel got its name. What is certain is that this is a robust wine with two distinct faces. Zin grown in cool climates will develop more light berry flavors and an off dry character, while Zin from warmer climates will develop into a bold wine that has darker flavors of blackberry, anise, and pepper.

Originally thought to be a native grape to California, the first Zinfandel was produced in this state in the 1800s. Though genetic testing later revealed this to be false - showing instead that California Zinfandel was genetically identical to Italian Primitivo - California is still the premier vintner of this varietal. Australian and Italian winemakers who make this type of wine usually label it Primitivo, and though the qualities of the wine are similar, there's nothing quite like a good California Zin.

It's important to note that Zinfandel shouldn't be confused with White Zinfandel, which is stylistically an entirely different wine. White Zin, which is in fact made from the Zinfandel grape, is an off-dry to semi-sweet rose wine that gets its deep pink color from spending a little time on the dark skins of the grape during the fermentation process. While White Zinfandel is often looked down upon by self-styled serious wine drinkers, lovers of old vine Zin have this sweet pink wine to thank for their 80 to 100 year old vines. The popularity of white Zin throughout the 1900s led to many viticulturists planting extra Zinfandel vines, vines that they maintained through the decades until the dawn of the Old Vine Zin revolution towards the end of the 20th century. Check out our list of the best zinfandels in 2022.

Compare The Best Zinfandels Of 2022

best old vines zinfandel

Turley Old Vines Zinfandel - Best Zinfandel Overall

Turley Old Vines Zinfandel has earned itself our top spot when it comes to the best Zinfandel. On average, these vines are around 80 years old, so you can expect lots of earthy flavors that get picked up through the long taproots. This wine is one you'll want to enjoy soon as it's already at its peak and won't benefit from any more time in the bottle. It's got a medium-body, in the tradition of cool-weather Zinfandel, and has pronounced notes of red berries, as well as undertones of dark berry and spice on the palate. The nose is also expressive, with lots of juicy fruit alongside crushed flowers and licorice. A little tight at first sip, some breathing time will help this wine open up to its full potential. Turley's Zinfandel has been named some of the best by the San Francisco Gate and is featured as one of the top 100 wines by Wine Spectator.

best country zinfandel

Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel - Runner Up

Singled out as one of the best Zins of 2013 by the San Francisco Gate, Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel is one of our best picks. This wine is dusty, spicy, and fruity, since it's sourced from grapes in both cool and warm vineyards. A little on the jammy side, at first taste this wine features a rush of big fruit flavors, including raspberry, black currant, and wild berry. This intense fruitiness is well-balanced by notes of spice, mineral, and herbs. The tannins are quite dusty, giving this wine a nice, dry finish that takes away every hint of fruitiness and leaves you ready for another sip. And this best part about this notable wine is that it retails for just around $25.

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Fiddletown Old Vine Zinfandel - Best Zinfandel under $20

An inexpensive wine that's won numerous awards, including the Best of Class at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the Gold Medal at the Long Beach Grand Cru in 2013, Fiddletown Old Vine Zinfandel is a great wine. Big, bold, and dark, this wine has pronounced notes of blackberry along with subtle caramel and black current elements. The tannins are quite strong in this wine, giving it a lot of structure and bite. It's also on the acidic side, which helps to cut through the big fruit flavors of the Zinfandel grape, creating a wine that's complex and well-balanced.

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Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel - Best Zinfandel under $20

Brazin (B)Old Vine Zinfandel hails from Lodi, California, a hot appelation that makes bold, spicy Zins. The vines are between 35 and 80 years old, so they've had plenty of time to grow long taproots that extend deep into the sandy earth at the vineyard. This wine is an inky purple in the glass, with lots of legs showing off the relatively high alcohol content. On the nose, you'll notice aromas of mocha and spice. These are well balanced by the plum and chocolate on the palate. The long, tannic finish brings along additional flavors of vanilla and a little bit of earthiness. Since these grapes are grown in warm conditions, the wine doesn't emphasize the berry flavors of Zinfandel, instead focusing on this complex grape's darker notes of chocolate and spice.

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