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Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2014

Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
  • W&S94
  • WW91
13.8% ABV
  • WW92
  • WW92
  • W&S92
  • D91
  • W&S91
  • W&S91
  • W&S91
  • WE91
  • W&S91
  • W&S93
  • WE91
  • W&S92
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4.1 41 Ratings
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4.1 41 Ratings
13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Profound perfume is what comes to my mind when your nose first hits the unfolding bouquet of the 2014. Rich flavors of raspberry and mulberry are underscored with a just touch of cinnamon and white pepper. More elegance than brawn, this wine is where Volnay meets Morgon. Consider a pairing with a beautiful, roasted bird garnished with spring chanterelles.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
John Williams is on a roll, following his exceptional 2013 Zinfandel with an equally delicious 2014. He dry-farms his 40-year-old vines, harvesting them at the same time as his Petite Sirah so he can co-ferment the fruit. That brings the tannins together in a refreshing, gentle structure that lifts the fruit flavors, presenting them as perfectly ripe forest berries. The tannins feel plus, even as they carry a note of black-peppercorn spice and manzanita. This is a beautiful Napa Valley red that happens to speak with an accent of Zin.
WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Have you ever heard of the term "Throwback Zinfandel?" Probably not, because as I was tasting the 2014 Frog's Leap Zinfandel I was kind of thinking this way and had never heard the phrase. When I first drank wines as a young adult, the wines were 12.5% to 13.5% in alcohol. Today, it is not uncommon to find zin "monsters of the midway" to be in the 15-16% bracket. Highly fashionable, but perhaps too much for food pairings. This one harkens back to the past. Medium to deep ruby color; zany and wild ripe berries in the nose, medium depth; medium bodied, perky palate, with racy tannins; red fruit, dried dust and earth in the flavors with some rusticity; medium finish, meaningful in the aftertaste because you can actually taste the fruit and earth. (Tasted: April 28, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
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Frog's Leap

Frog's Leap

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Frog's Leap, Napa Valley, California
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Frog's Leap is a family-owned winery dedicated to sustainable principles and committed to producing wines with balance, restraint and respect for terroir. Originally founded by the Williams Family in 1981 on a spot along Mill Creek known as the Frog Farm, today Frog's Leap makes its home amongst 200 acres of vineyards in Rutherford at the historic ‘Red Barn’. This noted ‘ghost winery’ was built in 1884 as the Adamson Winery and renovated in 1994 as Frog's Leap's permanent home. A handsome bi-level barrel chai completes the state-of-the-art winemaking facility and guests are received in the warm and welcoming LEED-certified hospitality center.

Now in its fourth decade of production, Winemakers John Williams, Paula Moschetti and Rory Williams hand-craft an annual production of 65,000 cases comprised of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and an estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon. Using the best of Napa Valley's organically grown, dry- farmed grapes and the most traditional winemaking techniques, Frog's Leap strives to produce wines that deeply reflect the soils and climate from which they emanate.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Zinfandel

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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.

WBO30184608_2014 Item# 157488