Home Wine Regions Californian Wine Eleven Zinfandels Under $20

I haven’t done a roundup article in a while, so I thought it was time to give you a quick summary of the recent series we did on zinfandel.

For those who are new to zinfandel, think bold, spicy and fruity wines.  These aren’t subtle wines — although some are more elegant than others.  And by elegant I mean some are less “in your face” with the spice and big fruit, making an approachable wine that will pair well with a broader range of foods.  The bigger, bolder zinfandels are your barbecue wines.  They pair well with strong flavored foods, like grilled burgers.

No matter what style of zin you like, there are plenty of tasty options under $20.  Here are some of our favorites.

Top Picks – Brazin Old Vine Zin & 7 Deadly Zins

Brazin Old Vine Zin

There’s nothing subtle about Brazin Old Vine Zin.  It has intense aromas, teaming with smoky fruit fragrances.  The palate is equally intense, with big plum and black cherry fruit flavors, plus a bit of nutmeg-like spice.  At $15, this is a great deal!

7 Deadly Zins

Right up there with Brazin is 7 Deadly Zins as another top pick.  This wine features darker fruit, compared to the Brazin, and dark chocolate nuances to boot.  It’s also a spicy zin, with a nice pepper note on the finish.

Best Value – Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel

Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel

While it’s a bit lighter than the others, Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel still offers plenty of ripe fruit flavors, good acidity and a touch of white pepper-like spice.  And at under $7.00, it’s a steal!

Here’s the full lineup of our zinfandel recommendations:

Brand Year Rating Price
Brazin -Lodi Old Vine Zin 2008 90 $15.00
7 Deadly Zins 2008 89 $16.00
Villa San-Juliette 2009 88 $17.00
X Winery Lake County Nova Vineyard Zinfandel 2009 88 $19.99
Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 87 $6.99
Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin 2008 87 $10.00
Cline Cellars Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2009 87 $15.99
Mettler Family Vineyards – Epicenter 2008 86 $19.99
Cline Cellars – Red Label Zinfandel 2009 86 $11.99
Vivi Primitivo 2009 85 $9.99
Redwood Creek – Lodi Zinfandel 2008 83 $8.00
4 replies to this post
  1. I miss the prices in California. Bought the Twisted Zin in Vancouver for $15.99. Sorry to say, it tasted very cheap, like unbalanced. The bargain here is Zinfatuation, a much better zin at $15 bucks CDN.

  2. Yikes! Canadian prices do sound steep. $15.99 is definitely too much for Twisted. Thanks for the heads up on Zinfactuation too.

  3. I’ve had your #2 and right now sipping your #6 Zinfandel. Love them both!! Very different yet quite tasty.

  4. I am surprised not to see the Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage vines, 2010-11 in this line up, I have been enjoying California Zin since 1975 and this is my go to list for under $15 in Ohio. $11.99 @ local Krogers right now for the 2011.
    Classic Zin spice and juicy black fruit berry’s with some subtle wood and tabacco.

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