California

Zinfandel

Study Guides > Varieties > Zinfandel

Signature Styles & Characteristics

Although any grape can be interpreted in innovative and at times, outlying styles, the below chart/graphic represents the preponderance of what you will find in California:

  • Dryness/Residual Sugar

    Zinfandel : 30 percent on a scale from Dry to of Dryness/Residual Sugar.

  • Acid (potential)

    Zinfandel : 60 percent on a scale from Low to High of Acid (potential).

  • Alcohol (potential)

    Zinfandel : 85 percent on a scale from Low to High of Alcohol (potential).

  • Body (weight on palate)

    Zinfandel : 100 percent on a scale from Low to High of Body (weight on palate).

  • Texture

    Zinfandel : 100 percent on a scale from Gritty and Astringent to Round and Smooth of Texture.

  • Tannin

    Zinfandel : 85 percent on a scale from Low to High of Tannin.

Aromas/Flavors

Influenced by climate, terroir, clonal selection and winemaking.

    Age
  • Red Fruit

    Fruit

    Blackberry, raspberry, cherries, plum, strawberry, blueberry, cranberry, fig, prune, raisin
  • Red Floral

    Vegetable

    Olives, bell peppers, anise/licorice, eucalyptus, green peppercorn, tobacco, rhubarb
  • Red Floral

    Herbal/floral

    Leaves, eucalyptus, oregano, laurel, mint, thyme, sage, rosemary, pine, green or black tea, sarsaparilla, pipe tobacco or cigar box, violets, coriander, fennel seed
  • Red Earth

    Earth

    Dusty earth, mineral, terracotta, potting soil, compost
  • Red Wood

    Wood (oak)

    Vanilla, clove, nutmeg, chocolate, smoke, coffee/ bean, mocha, cinnamon, toast, coconut
  • Red Other

    Other

    Jam, summer pudding, fruitcake, port, soy, pomegranate, molasses

Ageability

2-10 years, pedigree-dependent; the best bottles can age even longer