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Grape Varieties

Glossary terms

Zinfandel (red)

Responsible for the blush wine craze of the late 1980s, Zinfandel is a near-native grape of California, where at its best, it produces powerfully-constructed, brambly, spicy reds for the most part best drunk young or relatively young.

Known as Primitivo, it also flourishes in Puglia, around Manduria, producing similarly big, albeit more savoury, reds. Like South Africa's Pinotage, it has recently undergone a major revival in California, so much so that Italy, ironically, has recently won the right to the use of the name Zinfandel for Primitivo.

What dose it taste like?

  • brambly and raspberryish
  • headily spicy

  • In its pink incarnation, ZINFANDEL, sometimes known as white ZINFANDEL, tends to be light, sweetish and bland. Take it seriously though and it produces powerfully-constructed, brambly, reds with raspberry and blackberry-like flavours and plenty of tannins and spice. It is believed to be the same grape, or virtually the same grape as southern Italy's primitivo, which is equally capable of producing heady, robustly spicy reds.