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Frog's Leap Petite Sirah 2007

Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    As we drew early barrel samples, this rich Petite Sirah hooked us with its dark indigo hue and intense fragrance. Captivating aromatics of ripe blueberry is revealed at the core, while flavors of cassis, tobacco smoke and damp earth unfold to present a provocative wine with bright acidity, supple tannins and a long finish. Intense and weighty this little Petite is a great compliment to roasted meat dishes or decadent, dark chocolate.

    For over 100 years, Cabernet Sauvignon has been the grape of choice in Rutherford - Niebaum, Tchelistcheff, and Daniel all established that fact. However, during that time, another red grape began to slowly gain fame in Rutherford, albeit on a much smaller stage. Petite sirah was grown alongside the zinfandels of the day by many an old time grower and it was known to thrive in the "dust."

    During the initial planting of the Galleron Vineyard in 1998, Frank Leeds, our vineyard guru, gave his uncle and pioneering grape grower, Roy Chavez, a tour. When Roy saw the gravelly soils that stretch across the south side, he intuitively uttered, "You should put some Pets on that gravel." And so we did.There are some who believe that every patch of soil in the Napa Valley can be matched to a particular varietal and yield extraordinary results. We can't say that for sure, but when it comes to this little Petite sirah, we feel we have found a match made in heaven.

    Critical Acclaim

    Frog's Leap

    Frog's Leap

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    Frog's Leap, , California
    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.

    Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

    Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

    Tempranillo

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    Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

    In the Glass

    Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

    Perfect Pairings

    Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

    Sommelier Secret

    The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

    FGLPetite_2007 Item# 104037

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