2010 Frog's Leap Napa Valley Merlot (Previously $35)
Wine & Spirits
John Williams farms his benchland and valley floor vineyards without irrigation, providing half the fruit for this wine, the balance from growers in Rutherford, plus 11 percent Carneros fruit from Truchard Vineyards. The tannins feel completely mature, providing a lovely underlying roundness to the plump fruit. Those tannins seem sweet, like a fruity mushroom, while the anise and herb-scented fruit itself is savory. A classic Rutherford red.
Hugely extracted in cherry pie flavors, this Merlot makes up for the absence of subtlety with its sheer deliciousness. The tannins are soft, making it ideal for drinking now with steak.
The 2010 bottling from Frog's Leap is 100% Merlot from the Rutherford district of Napa Valley. The eastern portion of Rutherford surrounding the winery's estate is perfectly suited to Merlot, with its clay-loam soils. The long, cool growing season of 2010 was punctuated by a heat spell around harvest time which added a sultry flamboyance to the wine, which was aged for 18 months in French and American oak. Red fruit characteristics with chocolate and blueberry fill out a rich profile with balancing acidity.