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Frog's Leap Winery was founded in 1981 on a spot along Mill Creels known as the Frog Farm. An old ledger revealed that around the turn of the century frogs were raised there and sold for $.33 a dozen, destined no doubt, for the tables of Victorian San Francisco gourmets. Now in their sixteenth year of production, Frog's Leap Winery and its owners John and Julie Williams, are happily ensconced at the historic Red Barn property in Rutherford. This grand and Welcoming building was originally built as a winery in 1884. It is now not only home to some of the Napa Valley's best wines but also to what has to be the wine world's best motto - "Time's fun when you're having flies!" A strong commitment to sustainable agriculture on the part of Frog's Leap's vineyards complements the winery's goal: to have fun making elegant wines with superb balance: a crisp and vivacious Sauvignon Blanc, a spicy and engaging Zinfandel, a classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a rich barrel-fermented Carneros Chardonnay, and a supple, fruit-filled Merlot. Enjoy Frog's Leap Wine Anytime.
Steady weather during pollination gave assurance of a bigger crop than 1998, though still less than normal. The stable weather throughout the growing season had growers and winemakers smiling as a picture-perfect crop came off in an orderly fashion. Winemakers talk about "hang-time" with considerable passion. A vintage with hang-time has had the advantage of stable, cool temperatures allowing the grapes to stay on the vine. This slow, steady duration gives the fruit a chance to fully mature their flavors and tannins without losing their natural acidity and balance. Sudden warm spells or heat spikes can force a winemaker to pick before full flavor development, fearing an elevated alcohol level. Wines with hang-time possess, subtly, more depth and complexity in aromas and more richness and finesse in flavors. Frog's Leap Winery 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon commands all the characteristics of hang- time: beautiful expressive fruit, perfect balance and wonderful mouth-filling flavors – well worth waiting for.
The 2000 growing season was marked by adequate winter rains, normal bud-break and a bit of heat during pollination. But at the heart of this gloriously rich and supple merlot lies the exceptional combination of the short crop and long, cool growing season, allowing for exceptionally balanced ripening of the fruit and full-blown delicious flavor.
This vintage of Frog's Leap Winery Merlot was near textbook in every aspect. Normal winter rainfall, perfect bud break, even flowering, predictable showers during set, a June swoon, then slow, even ripening right up to the start of the even-paced harvest. After the more extreme conditions of the three previous vintages, growers and winemakers kept waiting for the 'other shoe to drop.' In the end, the other shoe was a picture perfect, classic Napa Valley vintage.
Old time Zinfandels were traditionally composed of a blend of grape varieties rather than 100% zinfandel grapes. Blender grapes such as petite syrah or carignane were added to give the wine more complexity: backbone and color from petit syrah, fruitiness and lightness from carignane. Frog's Leap Vineyards continues this winemaking tradition, incorporating the same traditional blenders into our Zinfandel.True to its heritage, our 2001 Zinfandel is rich and elegant, a beauty of great color, lush fruit with silky smooth balanced flavor. An ultimately drinkable wine in the most traditional sense.
Nearly everyone is excited about the 2002 vintage, and what's not to like? Spot on normal winter rains; perfect, even budbreak; no significant frost; ideal pollination; balanced ripening and textbook start dates. A classic Napa Valley Vintage. Of course, we did have a bit of excitement, harvesting our entire sauvignon crop within only ten days... but that's why they call it the Crush! Drink Frog's Leap Wine anytime.