2014 Frog's Leap Napa Valley Zinfandel
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.
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."