Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Frog's Leap 2006 Chardonnay  (Napa Valley)

Frog's Leap

2006 Chardonnay
(Napa Valley)

This is the way that Chardonnay should be made: With high acidity, (relatively) low alcohol, and with restrained oak treatment. What Frog’s Leap pulled off here is a wine with a pH (acidity) of 3.35 (which is in the low-range), only 13.4 stated alcohol (that’s extremely low for California), and a wine that went through natural malolactic fermentation, and part of the grapes spent only nine months in French oak. It goes to winemaker John Williams’ Buddhist philosophy of “non-being” or in this case, I presume, less is more.

Now for the pragmatic skinny: There are creamy melon and pear notes with creamy, bright, fresh fruit with some richness and viscosity (no doubt due to the ML). This stylish understated wine is elegant with that backbone of acidity. And it is young, so hold onto it for a year and then drink it over the ensuing seven years or so.

The organic grapes were harvested from three of Frog’s Leap’s managed vineyards in the Carneros (64 percent), Rutherford (20), and Oakville (16). Twenty-two percent of the juice was fermented in stainless steel, which helped to draw out the acidity. There were a little more than 10,000 cases produced. I also like the price.

Reviewed March 19, 2008 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Frog's Leap
Vintage: 2006
Wine: Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa Valley
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $24.00

Review Date: 3/19/2008

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.