Cline Old Vine Zinfandel Review

Cline Old Vine Zinfandel is made in Sonoma, California with grapes grown in Lodi, California in the Central Valley. 40% of California’s Zinfandel grapes are grown in this area, designated as the Mokelumne River AVA. Some of the Zinfandel vines used to produce Cline’s Old Vine Zinfandel are over 70 years old. 

We sampled the 2018 vintage for this review. At $10.99, this is among the most affordable wines Cline offers. This wine is meant to be drunk right away but can be aged for a couple of years. You can pick up a bottle from Trader Joe’s or online at Warehouse Wine and Spirits.

Winemaker’s notes: 

“Cline Old Vine Zinfandel is a challenging and rewarding wine to make. Amazing old vine fruit, detailed selection criteria and master blending show in the final wine. A wide array of jammy strawberry and plum aromas followed by black cherry, strawberry and vanilla flavors lead to a smooth and lengthy finish.”


In the glass, this wine is dark red with a touch of purple and medium opacity. When swirled, it coats the glass well, with numerous legs that fall quickly. 

The bottle is well designed and very heavy. It does not look like a cheap bottle of wine. Before it was opened, I used this bottle as a weight for at home workouts during quarantine because it was the heaviest bottle I had on hand. 


As described in the winemaker’s notes, I identified a prominent jammy strawberry nose, as well as lighter floral notes. Just after opening, the wine had a prominent alcohol aroma that mellowed significantly after a couple of hours open on the counter. 


On the palate, this wine is pleasantly fruity with low tannins. It feels warm in your mouth with a clean, focused flavor. I detected raspberry and cherry notes. The wine has a nice long finish, with flavors lingering for up to a minute. 


While not overly complex, this wine was very enjoyable to drink and great value. It would be a good option to serve at a dinner party with not-so-serious wine drinkers. This wine would be delicious paired with pizza or hearty seafood dishes. I had a glass paired with seared scallops and it did not overpower the flavors of the meal. 

Overall, we would recommend this wine. 

If you want to read more about Cline Cellars, check out our blog post reviewing our visit to their tasting room here. You can also read more about how to support small wineries during the Coronavirus pandemic here.

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