Frog’s Leap “Estate Grown” Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Frog’s Leap Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
California Napa Valley
Cabernet and Cabernet Blends
Type: Red Table Wine
Vintage: 2016

For decades, Frog’s Leap had a goal: Produce a Rutherford AVA Estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon. Inspired by the early Cabernets of Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyard, they spent 20 years finding and farming highly sought-after land in Rutherford, with particular attention to the iconic Rutherford Bench. This stretch of land, resting on the fast-draining gravel bed of a long-gone river, is not really a bench at all. (There is little question that this is some of Napa’s most prized real estate, though.)

 

It all began with the acquisition of the Red Barn Vineyard in 1994, the official move to Rutherford. This prime location provided a century-old facility and 40 acres perfectly suited to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Immediately following the move, Frank Leeds, longtime Frog’s Leap vineyard manager, agreed to a partnership between Frog’s Leap and his family’s Chavez Leeds Vineyard. This generational vineyard situated on the Rutherford Bench gave the first real taste of how complex and connected dry-farmed, organically-grown Cabernet Sauvignon could be.

 

In 2007, the Frog’s Leap purchased the historic Rutherford Bench Rossi Vineyard. Now mostly planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, the 50 acre Rossi Vineyard completed the picture by yielding high quality Rutherford grapes. The winery had achieved its goal of an entirely estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon that can stand the test of time.

 

“The prevailing style of Napa cabernet today emphasizes power, weight and extravagance, but Frog’s Leap is one of a small but significant number of cabernet producers that form a kind of alternate Napa universe. They are making wines of balance and restraint that are a direct link to Napa’s past […] The Frog’s Leap wines are subtle and nuanced […] They’re easy to drink with a meal and rewarding, especially for one who has despaired of finding Napa cabernets that are table wines, not jammy fruit bombs that overwhelm food.”
Eric Asimov on Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, The New York Times, Aug 2008

 

“Frog’s Leap is one of Napa Valley’s older-guard estates. The wines are classically built, delicious and incredibly fairly priced by today’s standards. If that isn’t a compelling value proposition, I don’t know what is. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown from Frog’s Leap is dark, bold and luscious, with generous dark cherry, plum spice, leather. Forward and supple, the 2016 will drink well right out of the gate, and yet it also has enough freshness to age nicely for a number of years. In 2016, the Cabernet has gorgeous depth to play off a classic, mid-weight sense of structure. This is a positively joyous Cabernet Sauvignon from Frog’s Leap.”

93 points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, Dec 2018