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Zinfandel's Renaissance

A group of dedicated young winemakers is ready to take California’s quintessential wine from cult status to the big time
Tim Fish
Issue: June 30, 2013

Just a few years ago, no one would have bothered to analyze the DNA makeup of an old Zinfandel vineyard. Compared with pedigreed grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, Zinfandel was considered California's poor stepchild. Instead, Zin is a wine that has survived based on its fervent cult following, powered by those who favor its flavors, its jammy quality and its expression of place. However, one of Zinfandel's strengths—that it can be made in a wide range of styles—is also a weakness. Quality can vary significantly among producers and from vintage to vintage, and consumers sometimes aren't sure what they'll find in the bottle. Yet over the past decade or so, Zinfandel has made impressive quality strides that have helped bring definition and focus to this distinctly Californian wine. Wine Spectator's Tim Fish explains.

For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands June 4, 2013.

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