Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
For decades, it has been the goal of Frog's Leap Winery to produce a Rutherford AVA, estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon. Inspired by the early Cabernets of Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyard, they’ve spent the past 20 years finding, farming, and obtaining highly sought-after land in Rutherford—with particular attention to the Rutherford bench— to perfect their craft. Years of effort with organic viticulture, dry farming and minimal cellar intervention yield a wine that could not be produced outside of the 10 square miles that define its appellation.
The 2019 growing season was long and warm, with cool nights, which helped to set the vines up beautifully for an extended harvest season. A little extra heat at harvest compared with the previous year gave the 2019 wines an extra dose of power and tannin, but the wine still abounds in the famous Rutherford ‘Dust’ – defined by a synergy of herbs and black fruit, tension between the flavors, and a long finish reminiscent of rough velvet. This powerful and delicious vintage will be one for the ages, and will in time develop all of the hallmarks of a wine that reflects Frog's Leap's home in Rutherford.
All lots were destemmed and crushed to tank, and most began fermentation on the strength of their native yeast. Fermentations lasted between 7 and 10 days, with open hose pumpovers performed three times daily to mix the skins and promote gentle extraction. Tannins were quite strong in 2019, and though most lots were still pressed at dryness. Natural malolactic fermentation completed in barrel. Five rackings were performed over the course of the wine’s 20 months of aging in French oak barrels (~23% new overall).
Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc
|Beaming and pure, with aromas of fragrant red fruits, fresh flowers and a pleasant hint of ash. Elegant and bright on the palate, with a finely-drawn, precise acidity. Frog's Leap has always placed itself among producers that champion precision and elegance, and the 2018 is a particularly crystalline example of this.|
|James Suckling: 92|
|Plums, earth, dried herbs, lavender and bark on the nose. Full body with chewy tannins. Firm and tight. Quite angular. Fresh and bright. Needs time to soften. Better after 2023.|