Close your eyes, smell this wine, and you might think you’ve moved from Rutherford to Morgon. This wine has the kind of youthful impact of a great cru Beaujolais, then it settles into the plump richness of Napa Valley zin. Its mineral-driven tannins ground all the bright and zesty fruit, holding it tight, suggesting this has years of development ahead.
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.
You’ll notice the 2020 has an unusually high amount of Carignane, the result of our selecting some of the best sub-sections of old-vine Carignane at Ricetti (the home vineyard of our dry rosé, La Grenouille Rouganté) for red wine. 55% of the wine was aged in small concrete cubes, with the rest aged for 10 months in oak barrel. No new oak whatsoever was used in the 2020 Zinfandel.
Pairs well with beef, lamb, and poultry dishes.