2014 Frog's Leap Napa Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1260162 94 points 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 plush, 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.  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

When it comes to under-the-radar gems, Frog's Leap secret weapon is their Zinfandel, made in a polished and restrained style that favors purity, charm, and drinkability over extraction and a heavy oak. Ok, maybe it's not so secret - regularly receiving 90+ points from major reveiwers - but their Zin isn't a perrenial staff favorite for no reason. According to the winery: "As the average age of our Zinfandel vines now reaches 35 years, it seems to me that the fruits of these vines are reaching new heights of complexity and finesse. Not to be challenged by the below average rainfall that has so vexed California, this 2014 vintage, never the less, has a jaunty spirit and is just a plain delicious drink. 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."

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Price: $29.99

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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.