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Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2008

Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
  • WE91
13.7% ABV
  • WW92
  • WW92
  • W&S92
  • W&S94
  • WW91
  • D91
  • W&S91
  • W&S91
  • W&S91
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  • WE91
  • W&S92
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4.0 16 Ratings
13.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

80% Zinfandel, 19% Petite Sirah, 1% Carignne.

Maybe it's that we found our early inspiration for Zinfandel from a different source — instead of reinventing Zinfandel, we looked to the past and the incredible Zins of the '40s and '50s. Those wines taught us the lessons that the old-timers knew: that field blends of Petite Sirah, Carignane, and Napa Gamay all picked at ripeness (not as raisins) added color, aromatics, and earthy complexity. In other words, the help of other varietals was needed to reveal the Zinfandel grape's true flavors. These principles form the foundation for our wine today.

In the centuries-old tradition of the "field blend" the 2008 Frog's Leap Zinfandel reveals the great character and multi-layered nuances of its almost forgotten varietals. The Zinfandel offers lush layers of wild raspberry and mulberry underscored with a touch of cinnamon and white pepper. The 'Pets' deepen the rich dark color, add a weighty mid-palate and strengthen the flavors of blueberry and spice while that dash of Carignane helps to drive the finish. The tannins are polished and the texture is plush. With an alcohol level under 14% this wine is rich yet quaffable and is the perfect partner for your next barbeque.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A first rate Zinfandel. It shows the classic structure, dryness and tannins of a fine Napa Valley Cabernet, yet the pepper, baking spice and wild berry fruit and currant flavors are uniquely Zin. And look at that alcohol, under 14%. Drink this robust, complex wine with steaks, beef stew, tamales.
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Frog's Leap

Frog's Leap

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Frog's Leap, Napa Valley, California
2008 Zinfandel
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.


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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

NDF680064_2008 Item# 106548