Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Frog's Leap Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
Frog's Leap Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
(search item no. 24020)
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $59.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

I have just re-read the great book by John McPhee, Assembling California, in which there is a whole chapter dedicated to how the Napa Valley was formed geologically. As I look out my office window at the western hills of the Napa Valley and the few scant acres that comprise the Rutherford Bench it is easy to marvel at the confluence of massive geological events, time and pure coincidence that conspired to make our 1997 Rutherford.

Converging tectonic plates, subduction zones, geosynclines, volcanic eruptions, huge alluvial washes and the five million years of daily weathering all for the single purpose of producing the unique gravelly loam soils ideal for cabernet sauvignon. Perhaps the surest sign of a wine of character is that it has the ability to transport you, captivate you and ultimately draw you back to its source of uniqueness.

The 1997 Rutherford, with its high percentage of cabernet franc, has beautiful aromas of blackberries and earth. The flavors are fabulous, full of igneous chirts, franciscan sediments and millions of old alluvial pebbles. This is truly a wine of time and place. -John Williams, Winemaker

My Notes:

Additional wines from Frog's Leap:

About Frog's Leap:

Frog's Leap is an iconic California winery dedicated to organic farming, sustainable living and quality wines. Situated in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley, Frog’s Leap produces wine under the leadership of John Williams, a former dairy farmer from New York who created the winery in 1981.

John Williams grew up in Western New York and originally attended Cornell University to extend his studies as a dairyman. A fortuitous work-study program at Taylor Wine Company and a few bottles of wine later, John entered the Enology and Viticulture Masters Program at UC Davis. Following Davis, he returned to the Finger Lakes as the start-up winemaker at Glenora Wine Cellars. Taking inspiration from his first Napa Valley winemaking post in the cellars of Stag's Leap, John began making wine commercially in 1981 and named the new operation "Frog's Leap."

Frog's Leap presents a relaxed approach to enjoying wine. An easy hospitality and warm sense of humor is juxtaposed with a more serious sensibility when making wine. Frog's Leap produces some of Napa Valley's finest wines and, undoubtedly, has one of the wine world's best mottos: "Time's Fun When You're Having Flies."

The wines produced range from Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. We have quite the line up to offer so we hope you’ll try one of these delicious wines that harmoniously combine quality, sustainability and value.

First certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in 1988 Frog's Leap has been a leader in the industry for over two decades. The winery relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators and genetically modified organisms. Organic farming involves mechanical weed control (via cultivating or hoeing) rather than herbicidal weed control.