What is often overlooked in 2020 is that it was a very fine vintage for those wines that were made without the influence of smoke. The 2020 Shale and Stone is yet another delicious example of our unique Frog’s Leap style that matches lovely hints of white flowers with crisp minerality and (ironically, in 2020) aromas of matchstick and gunpowder. Crisp, bone dry, and perfectly balanced, this wine satisfies in so many ways—with food as well as just for sipping.
Frog’s Leap Winery was founded by John Williams and his wife at the time, Julie, and Larry Turley and his wife at the time, Jeannine. Larry, the founder of Turley Cellars and brother to well-known winemaker Helen Turley and John made their first barrel of wine from grapes they sourced from Stag’s Leaps Wine Cellars. From vineyards to the winery, the focus is on growing and making balanced food-friendly wines. The wines are all made with non-inoculated (indigenous) yeasts. These are wines showing alcohol restraint; as of our latest visit, none of the wines were above 14% alcohol – a rarity these days in Napa Valley.
After cold settling, the juice was allowed to just barely begin its fermentation in tank, then was immediately racked to brand-new French oak barrels, where they spent their most active phase of fermentation, typically 4-6 days. As each lot began to slow down, all wine was racked to a single stainless steel-lined concrete tank, where primary fermentation finished over the next several weeks. No lees stirring occurred, and no sulfur was added to the tank until the following summer, with the wine finishing a natural malolactic fermentation over the winter.
Pairs well with pork, rich fish such as salmon and tuna, vegetarian and poultry dishes.