Zinfandel was one of the first wines I cut my teeth on a couple decades ago. (Thank you, Ravenswood.) But as my taste gravitated away from heavy, jammy, boozy expressions of the grape, I left it by the wayside. So how great was it to crack open a bottle of 2011 Frog’s Leap Zinfandel Napa Valley and be transported back to those halcyon days of Original Zin? (I know! Couldn’t resist.)
It’s been in the bottle for a couple years and has mellowed to where you barely taste the oak, just a richness and spiciness on the finish. A very pleasurable wine, indeed. This bottle was purchased on a Napa and Sonoma sojourn with my mother a couple years back and, notably, is a half bottle. Since a 375ml bottle tends to advance a lot quicker than a full 750ml, it’s probably why such a recent vintage is really hitting its stride. (PS: Thanks, Mom, for still having this on hand in Reno.)
You know, over the decade I worked in retail wine, I’d always get people coming in asking for a better half-bottle selection. Then when I’d bring more in, the 375s would gather dust. Does anyone buy half bottles? I think it’s easier to buy from a larger selection of full, 750ml bottles and just stick the leftovers in your fridge to enjoy the next day.
Doing a little more research via Frog’s Leap’s website, I came across this great quote regarding their lower-octane expressions of Zin. “Monster” Zins may still hold sway…
“But Frog’s Leap Zin is different: you can’t use this stuff to light your charcoal grill”
Though it would be an excellent BBQ wine for the above reason; I actually enjoyed it on the cooler side, temperature-wise. Cheers to Frog’s Leap!
Looking for more restrained Zinfandel in Sonoma? Check out Nalle.