Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Frog's Leap 2005 Sauvignon Blanc  (Rutherford)

Frog's Leap

2005 Sauvignon Blanc
(Rutherford ~ Napa Valley)

John Williams, Frog’s Leap’s owner, is one of Napa Valley’s wonderful characters. I’ve never seen him without a smile, he always has a quip or two, and he’s invested, Zen-like one can say, in farming sustainably. He also makes some mighty nice wines at his lovely, flower-festooned Rutherford winery.

His 2005 Sauvignon Blanc – fermented entirely in stainless steel, thereby having it stay clear of any oak – reflects Williams’ personality. It’s not too showy – but boy, does it envelop one’s palate – nor is it austere. I wouldn’t go so far as to pronounce Williams a voluptuous personality, but the wine is devoid of any sort of edginess.

Williams manages to achieve all this by allowing the fruit to stand on its merits. There’s some telltale sour berry (some would say gooseberry) aromas, which to my mind is a good thing. Most important, it is perfectly balanced. In other words, the experience you’ll have with this Sauvignon Blanc, served as it was to me with a seared mackerel with basil cream, will make you feel a sense of well-being; which is what Williams seems to impart.

The fruit was picked from dry-farmed, organically grown vineyards. The mouth-cleansing acidity (a perfect foil to wash away the aforementioned basil cream) is high (3.15 pH), but as I alluded to, there’s nary any tartness.

As Williams might say himself, the gestalt of the wine is decidedly Sauvignon and definitively Rutherford with its minerality and just this-side-of-sweet white peach. As Williams did write on his Web site, “There is no mistaking this wine for Chardonnay.”

The listed alcohol – and we like this attribute – is 12.9 percent. The production was 21,000 cases.

Reviewed July 13, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

Other reviewed wines from Frog's Leap

Frog's Leap
2006 Chardonnay
(Napa Valley)
Alan Goldfarb 3/19/2008
Frog's Leap
2005 Zinfandel
(Napa Valley)
Alan Goldfarb 8/10/2007

The Wine

Winery: Frog's Leap
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Rutherford ~ Napa Valley
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Price: 750ml $16.50

Review Date: 7/13/2006

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.