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.

Also 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. Recent research has shown Zinfandel/Primitivo is not originally from Italy, but from Croatia.

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.